Tapiolanvainio under protection in Kokemäki

Together with the Satakunta district, the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation has searched for primeval forests in the Satakunta region for ten years already. We once purchased the Tapiola area in Noormarkku, and the remaining resources allowed us to acquire another area with even more trees.

Tapiolanvainio is located in the village of Ahvenus, a little more than a kilometre from the Puurijärvi National Park in the southeast. We can see a relatively large uninhabited forest area spreading north of the Tapiolanvainio forest. Beyond the railroad running close to the southern edge of the Tapiolanvainio area, there is only a minor road leading to the place.

The place was originally called Vainio, named after an unconnected land nearby, a plot owned during the course of 1935–1976 by a man named Matti Anttila once his mother’s great family estate was parcelled out between the heirs. Matti Anttila was a devout forest lover who decided to spare his forest, unlike many others. He regarded this heartland as a personal landscape that should remain intact.

The Tapiolanvainio forest has become an exceptional place with a primeval touch. By the eastern edge, there is an exuberant watery hollow with cliffs and crags of jagged rocks rising out of the hollow towards the west, the southwest, and the east. The diversity of the area ranges from the common alders of the hollow and the spruces of the heaths to the pine trees standing on the bare tops of the hills. The tree stand of the heaths is made up of spruces, some of them old in age and massive in size. There is decayed wood appearing in great amounts, also in the form of heavy trunks lying on the ground and dead spruces still standing in the forest. The brook running through the watery hollow was once exposed to shallow digging, but it has since started returning to its natural state. In addition to the multitude of springs, there are swamps developing on the ground, both contributing to the diversity of the area.

The bird population nesting in the area includes species of old spruce forests, some of them more and more rare, such as the three-toed woodpecker. The forest also provides a home for the Eurasian pygmy owl, the Eurasian wren, the common treecreeper, and the black woodpecker.

Tapiolanvainio is the 49th conservation area of the foundation and the fourth one in the Satakunta region.

Photo: Niina Uusi-Seppä.