Chicken manure in a man's hand.
Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics / Getty
  • Local authorities in Lund, a city in Sweden of about 125,000 people, are dumping a ton of chicken manure into its central park to stop tens of thousands of people from gathering for a traditional celebration on the last day of April.
  • Walpurgis Night marks the end of winter in Sweden, where people congregate and build bonfires. It's classed as a "spontaneous" event, so authorities cannot ban it. But authorities can make it smell so bad people won't have a choice except to stay away.
  • The local council's environment committee chairman Gustav Lunblad told Sydsvenskan, a daily Swedish newspaper: "We get the opportunity to fertilise the lawns, and at the same time it will stink and so it may not be so nice to sit and drink beer in the park."
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A Swedish city is dumping a ton of chicken manure in a popular park hoping the stench will keep thousands of people from visiting during a traditional celebration.

Local authorities in Lund, a city of about 125,000 people - many of whom are university students - made the novel decision to dump a ton of chicken manure in its central park this week, according to The Guardian. The authorities are hoping it'll stop crowds of up to 30,000 people gathering for Walpurgis Night, a celebration marking the end of winter on the last day of April, where people party and build bonfires, according to The Local.

Lund's local council's environment committee chairman Gustav Lunblad told Sydsvenskan, a daily Swedish newspaper: "Lund could very well become an epi-centre for the spread of the coronavirus on the last night in April, [so] I think it was a good initiative."

He also said: "We get the opportunity to fertilise the lawns, and at the same time it will stink and so it may not be so nice to sit and drink beer in the park."

As of April 29, Sweden has 20,302 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 2,462 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Sweden has imposed a less stringent lockdown compared to its neighbours, aiming for a sustainable long-term approach. People are allowed to go to bars, restaurants, and parks as long as they're in groups of 50 people or less. As of April 29, its coronavirus-related deaths per-capita were six times higher than Norway and Finland, Business Insider previously reported.

Sweden's less stringent approach along with the fact Walpurgis is classed as a "spontaneous" activity means it cannot be banned by Swedish authorities, according to The Guardian.

So local authorities are hoping the unpleasantness of the manure will be enough to keep people away. Even if it comes at a cost. Lundblad told Sydsvenskan: "I cannot guarantee that the rest of the city will be odorless. But the point is to keep people out of the city park."

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