As the ice melted and released the pressure, a process of land elevation began across Sweden. Västerbotten province is where the elevation is at its greatest, rising by about one centimetre a year. Areas below the highest coastline are characterised by varying soils and vegetations. This is because as the water gradually receded, it left behind different kinds of fine-grained materials with different properties. These are visible today as beautiful shifts in the natural landscape. Berga’s higher sections were exposed early on, and started out as islands in a watery landscape. You can get a sense of this looking out over the Knowledge Forest today.

Exciting soil types and structures

The water carried with it sediments of fine-grained material. This is why the moraine is generally covered by fine-grained soil types in different layers or ‘bands’. The water has also created coarser soil types, ideal for the pine forests. The Västerbotten coastline is dominated by different types of gneiss. Gneiss is a rock formed from other rock types, primarily mica, quartz and feldspar. Gneiss wears away easily, producing meagre soil types.