When you approach Langøya by boat from the east, it is somewhat surprising to see that the surrounding nature is practically untouched. Many years’ of industrial activity have resulted in significant development along the east coast, and on both ends of the island.
In the north are traces of the closed limestone mine from 1899 – 1910, but this area is experiencing significant regrowth with new woods and forests. Moreover, there are still rich deposits of petrifactions, plants, insects and birds.
From the mid-1980s, a number of areas in Norway were protected due to their special nature. On Langøya, the Ministry for Environmental Protection wanted to set up a nature reserve. In addition, NOAH separated two smaller parts of the industrial area off into recreational areas.
Langøya nature reserve
Upon royal decree on 15 January 1988, an area of approx. 215 acres was protected, an area which covers the entire east coast and the northern and southern tip of Langøya. The purpose of the protection was to protect an important location for understanding the Oslo field’s fossil-bearing rocks with associated lime-demanding vegetation. It is the County of Vestfold, the Environment department, which monitors the protection provisions.
There are two areas that are regulated as recreational areas. These are referred to as recreational area south and north. Re municipality is responsible for running these.
The municipality also disposes of funds that are transferred to NOAH every year for recreational purposes. The Coastal Service is responsible for inspecting and collecting waste.
The southern recreational area lies on the island’s west side, almost down to the southern-most point. The area has a pier for small boats.
The area is suitable for day trips, but overnight stays are not permitted. There are plenty of opportunities for swimming and sunbathing, but no overnight stays.