Late in 2019 the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation received as a donation a beautiful lakeside forest from Pyhäjärvi Northern Ostrobothnia. The heartfelt wish of the donator, Juhani Tolonen, was that the forest would remain intact for future generations too.
The forest of Aarnikangas consists of four hectares of over 100 old spruce forest as well as 3.5 hectares of previously managed spruce mire which is now slowly developing back into a more natural state. The waves of Pyhäjärvi wash the untouched shores Aarnikangas over a stretch of 200 metres.
The donator Juhani Tolonen worked as a nurse at a surgical ward for the most part of his life. Living in Tampere he has for long been an active member of the local botanical society. The most interesting species that he discovered in his botanical survey of Aarnikangas was the northern coralroot (Corallorhiza trifida). The forest of Aarnikangas came to him a part of his mother’s home farm that he inherited in the early 2000s.
Sitting on the old shoreline wall of Aarnikangas one can look over the lake Pyhäjärvi and imagine how it all most have looked like before man made his marks on the landscape. Next to you stand the tall spruces which one man’s arms can reach around.
PHOTO: Ari-Pekka Auvinen