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It’s a sticky day in high summer and the air is heavy with the drone of a million insects around Erik Persson’s homemade summerhouse. Two hours west of Stockholm, 20 minutes from Arboga, down miles of barely driveable rocky farm track, through four wooden latch gates and herds of cranky sheep that need the odd prod from a car bonnet to move; this is certainly a rural escape.

In the battle between man and nature in Nannberga, the latter is winning. Gangly pines, gnarled oaks and wild apple trees rise out of fields of lunar rocks and overgrown gra…



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