A Dense Forest under Protection in Padasjoki

The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation acquired the Rouvala farm of 16 hectares in the Nyystölä village in Padasjoki, over 10 hectares of the area being covered by woodland. The majority of the deal was financed by a private donor, who decided to remain anonymous. The farm was sold by the Kakko siblings, whose parents had moved to the farm after the war.

The forest is located in the vicinity of the Päijänne National Park, southwest of the far end section of the Nyystölänlahti bay. The appearance of the common hepatica and the spring vetchling tells about the exuberance of the soil. The number of trees is, in fact, extraordinarily large in this forest, which grows on a grove-like heath.

This mighty forest of conifers and other trees appears in its natural state, the oldest trees being well over a hundred years old. The trees that reach the clouds are unusually beautiful, and in some places, they are surrounded by unbroken blueberry brushes. The landscape is enriched by a few saggy swamps and seasonal wetlands lying in their natural state. Deciduous trees can mainly be found at the edges of the forest.

There is plenty of decayed wood appearing in the forest, dozens of cubic metres per hectare at its best. The decayed wood appears in many forms, ranging from fallen trees covered by moss to fresh windfalls, all creating a new living environment for a variety of forest species that exploit decayed wood.

The area includes a former forest pasture of 1,5 hectares, located on a hill called Ilvesmäki, which is labelled by loose boulders as well as small rocks and cliffs. The forest growing on this hill, which is rising between two meadows, varies from a mixed forest with a lot of light to a dense spruce forest with a lot of aspens. The juniper shrubs that appear in the bush layer remind us of the former pasture.

Rouvala is the 51st conservation area of the foundation and already the 11th in the Häme region.

Photo: Anneli Jussila.