The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation has received a fascinating forest area as a gift on the northeastern shore of Lahnajärvi in Jämsä. The area belongs to the Aikala house, part of the Hietaranta family property, which has served as the Itkonen family’s summer address for several decades. Aikalankangas was donated to the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation by Marja Itkonen-Kaila, Kerttu Itkonen, Markus Itkonen and Taru Itkonen.
The approximately six hectares of Aikalankangas, together with its beautiful landscape, will become a permanent conservation area, in accordance with the donors’ wishes. On the Aikala ridge and the lingonberry field, there are old and stately pines buzzing in the wind, and there are also thick spruces and deciduous trees in the small depressions and especially in the vicinity of the riverbank. The area has a deep dimension in time with stone-age settlements and moose hunting pits being found there. The pits are clearly visible on the gentle ridge of Aikalankangas. They were once found by the family’s father, the famous Lapland expert T. I. Itkonen.
The long riverside that inclines towards Lahnajärvi adds lustre to the area, especially when considering the interesting history of the waters. Lahnajärvi flows through the Jämsäjoki river to Lake Päijänne, and the surface is still at the same level as it was during the ancient times when the stone-age settlements were built, that is approximately 98 metres above sea level. The surface of Päijänne has since then dropped more than ten metres, but the upriver sections, such as Lahnajärvi, is at their ancient level. That is why signs of the Stone Age are still being found above the height curve of 100 metres following the riverside.
The preservation of Aikalankangas is a valuable and welcome contribution to the protection of Central Finland’s nature and cultural landscape.
(Photo: Anneli Jussila)