We managed to establish a new conservation area in the Pirkanmaa region at the end of November 2013 when we acquired a forest of more than 13 hectares in Urjala. In March 2014 the area expanded as a result of a purchase on 4,5 additional hectares from the northwestern side of the area.
This virgin forest with an exceptional amount of decayed wood was named Metsänpeitto, and we have decided to dedicate the forest to our chairman, Mr Pentti Linkola, the founder of the foundation. The purchase was carried out with the proceeds of the 2012 campaign arranged for the celebration of Mr Linkola’s 80th anniversary in December 2012.
For a forest growing in southern Finland, Metsänpeitto is a real find. It is located in the vicinity of the Laukeela village centre, and it is about a hundred-year-old tree stand. Over half of the forest resembles a grove with spruces dominating the fresh heath. On the eastern edge, there is a small strip of dry heath dominated by pine trees. Within the dominance of the conifers, there are also old birches and grouped aspens flourishing in the area. The forest seems almost intact with only a few small trees having been cut down – probably twenty years ago, or so.
There is an exceptional amount of decayed wood, even as much as 10–20 cubic metres per hectare, provided as trees that appear in a variety of ages and forms: dead ones still standing, fallen ones covered with moss, ones recently toppled by the wind, and rotten deciduous ones that have not fallen down yet. In the vicinity of the old trees toppled by the wind, there is a new generation of saplings filling the areas that have been cleared naturally during the course of the years.
The versatile terrain adds variety to the place. There are valleys as well as ridges and cliffs with the inner landscape being labelled by boulders that seem extraordinarily large. The stream of the brook flowing through the forest was once straightened out, but the bed is already returning to its natural state, at least to some extent.
Metsänpeitto is the 44th conservation area of the foundation and the sixth one in the Pirkanmaa region.