Metsänpeitto, a forest acquired by the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation at the end of November, is a rare one for a forest growing in southern Finland.
This virgin forest of almost 14 hectares with plenty of decayed wood is standing in the vicinity of the Laukeela village centre in Urjala.
We have decided to dedicate the forest to our chairman, Mr Pentti Linkola, the founder of our foundation; after all, it was purchased with the proceeds of the 2012 campaign arranged for the celebration of Mr Linkola’s 80th anniversary in December 2012.
Metsänpeitto is about an approximately century old tree stand. Over half of the forest is grove-like with a little more than a third being about fresh heath dominated by spruces. The area also includes a piece of dry heath dominated by pine trees. There is also a significant number of old birches and grouped aspens growing among the conifers, which dominate the area.
There is an exceptional amount of decayed wood appearing in the forest in a variety of forms, provided by the various kinds of trees: the dead ones still standing, the fallen ones covered with moss, the ones recently toppled by the wind, and the rotten deciduous ones that have not fallen down yet.
The terrain makes the place extraordinarily beautiful. The landscape inside the forest is labelled by a variety of shapes created by valleys, ridges, cliffs, and large boulders. There is also a brook, the direction of which has once been straightened out. The bed is, however, returning to its natural state as we speak.
There are no significant signs of forestry measures – only a few small trees have been cut, and this probably took place twenty years ago. In the vicinity of the old trees toppled by the wind, there are new saplings appearing on the ground.
Metsänpeitto is the 44th conservation area of the foundation and the sixth one in the Pirkanmaa region.
Photo: Mikko Hovila.