Last summer, the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation was able to purchase a forest area in southern Pirkanmaa which will be named Myllyniitty. The area is located in Paino in Valkeakoski and reaches all the way to the shores of lake Painonjärvi. The conservation area, which measures just under 15 hectares, includes a beautiful little stream from Iso Leppäjärvi to Painonjärvi. The first part of the stream has many small, gushing rapids – at times the drop in the terrain can be more than 20 metres.
“The Foundation was able to acquire Myllyniitty through a bidding process which had already received several bids,” Anneli Jussila, Conservation Director for the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation, explains. What is unusual about this area is how it is dominated by broadleaf trees – the main tree species for most of the area is silver birch or aspen. If the area had not been protected, it would have been heavily cleared, whereas now the multi-faceted structure of the forest is preserved and left to develop.
“The heirs were pleased the area would be protected. It is particularly pleasing that the forest includes an area of herb-rich forest with liverwort where a flying squirrel lives,” Jussila continues. “One flying squirrel was mentioned in the sales brochure, but during the survey of the area I found the territory of a second flying squirrel”.
The soil in Myllyniitty is made up of rich, herb-rich moor throughout. In the more moist areas there are also valuable groves of the lushest type of nature to be found in this country. The forest also contains a few old meadows. The Pirkan Taival walking trail crosses Myllyniitty along the electric line.
Nearby there are also three other conservation areas, the largest one being Rehuistenvuori. Myllyniitty acts as an island connecting these three protected areas.
Myllyniitty is the Foundation’s second conservation area in Valkeakoski. In 2010, the Foundation protected a seven-hectare area in the same town called Metsola.