The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation has received a donation of a herb-rich forest in a natural state in Padasjoki. The forest is located northwest of the centre of Padasjoki, near the western shore of lake Kirkkolammi. The protected area will be known as Tuomilehto.
Tuomilehto is a herb-rich forest extending over four hectares, and as the name suggests, bird cherry (tuomi in Finnish) forms a thick shrub layer which also contains buckthorn, rowan and fly honeysuckle. The vegetation in the forest includes many plant species which are typical for herb-rich forests, such as baneberry, redcurrant, guelder rose, finger sedge and wall lettuce. From the depths of the forest, one can hear the sound of the star singer of the herb-rich forest, the garden warbler, and the memorable, quickening song cycle of the wood warbler.
“The protection of herb-rich forests is at an alarming state particularly in the southern parts of the country – only approximately three percent of the herb-rich forests of Southern Finland have been protected. In addition, nearly half of all endangered forest species are mainly found in herb-rich forests. That is why it is important to protect the last remaining natural state forests of this type, so these kinds of donations are a valuable way of promoting their protection,” says Pepe Forsberg, Managing Director of the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation.
The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation uses donated funds to purchase natural areas and protect them permanently. Donations of forest areas can also be made to the Foundation, and these will be turned into a conservation area according to the donor’s wishes. The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation guarantees permanent funding in line with the Nature Conservation Act and the Foundations Act for all the areas it owns.
“The recent conservation work of the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation has been so impressive that I wanted to donate a herb-rich forest which was important to me into the care of the Foundation. I also want to encourage other landowners to consider protecting areas as an alternative to forestry,” explains Marjaana Timari-Muurinen, who donated Tuomilehto to the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation.
(Foto: Heini Koivuniemi)