In honour of Runeberg – Rotkovuori protected in Jämsä

The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation recently purchased two forest areas, Takkula and Aittopää, located next to each other by Lake Aittojärvi in the Korttee village of Jämsä. The new conservation area of approximately twenty hectares will be called Rotkovuori. Its forests of many trees are standing at the foot of a mountain with the same name as well as its northern and northwestern slopes. The lowest section of the brook connecting the lakes Rotkojärvi and Aittojärvi remains inside the conservation area together with approximately one kilometre of the valuable shore.

“We obtained Rotkovuori through a competitive bidding, but only just. Forests such as this one, waiting for their final cut, are always exposed to a clear-cutting, so we came to its rescue at the last minute,” says the foundation’s conservation director Anneli Jussila with satisfaction.

The forest, which is a hundred years old to a great extent, or even older, is directly connected to the three-kilometre long conservation area already established there around Lake Rotkojärvi and a ravine that faces towards the southeast. The old conservation area is also valuable, not only because of its landscapes, but also due to the vegetation of its forests and rocks. There are demanding species of moss, lichen, and vascular plants appearing in the area. At the foot of the cliff, which reaches the height of approximately forty metres from the lake, the touch-me-not balsam appears in the rocky terrain with groves flourishing by the brook. The eagle-owl, the black woodpecker, and the hazel chicken are known to have nested in the area. The flying squirrel has also been detected.

This new conservation area acquired by the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation will offer these and many other species new living environments and make the nature types of the area more diverse. On the side of the Rotkovuori conservation area, an old heath forest stands out with its dominating spruces and decayed wood in great amounts.

We find it convenient to make the new conservation area public on Runeberg Day because this national poet of Finland is known to have wandered in the neighbourhood within the landscapes of Central Finland and the old Häme region, his work being mostly influenced by nature in Finland’s inner parts. Nature and its landscapes became an integral part of patriotism in Runeberg’s poems. Walking through the Rotkovuori forest, we are able to fully comprehend Runeberg’s words about the depth of the endless forests in the heartland and their impact on the human mind.


Photo: Matti Peltonen

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