Markku Aho’s memorial forest
In the spring of 2023, the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation purchased Markku Aho’s (1952–2019) memorial forest in Rasimäki village in the Valtimo area of Nurmes. The forest was found in collaboration with memorial forest volunteers. This is a very suitable spot for a memorial forest, as the School of Self-sufficiency, which is run in collaboration with the Kohtuus vaarassa movement and the folk high school Kainuun Opisto, is located close by in the same village. The idea behind the School of Self-sufficiency was important to Markku Aho, and he visited the village many times.
The conservation area, which has been named Kuusenhäivelö, covers 9.5 hectares. The most diverse part of it is a lush, wild spruce wood, and the forest also has steep rocks and mixed forest dominated by aspen. Some of the rare species found in the area include Arthothelium scandinavicum and common witch's-hair lichen. In the forest near the steep rock face there is also a special rock formation which has been identified as a potential sacrificial stone. In the immediate vicinity of the area, there are two beautiful, large springs.
Kuusenhäivelö is part of the Nationally Valuable Landscape Area of Rasimäki, which surrounds a uniformly built strip of village along the riverside which was built in the 1940s. The terrain is undulating and characterised by sloping fields and pasturages which are still used for grazing.
Markku Aho’s memorial fundraiser was opened in 2020, and the proceeds amounted to approximately 47 000 euros. The amount covers the full purchase price and fees of buying the 9.5-hectare forest.