Over 50 hectares of a forest located in the village of Nalkki in Puolanka became the new property of the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation at the end of May. The atmospheric area characterized by heaths and pine swamps is located by the clear waters of the Tulijoki river.
The forests of the Tulijoki area are dominated by conifers, but the area also provides plenty of deciduous trees, birches and aspens. Approximately half of the terrain is covered by the heaths with almost half being covered by the swamps, not to mention the few hectares labelled by another type of quagmire. In addition, there is a flooding swamp with dead trees found in the eastern end.
A large part of the Tulijoki forest is over a hundred years old, in some places even 150 years or more. Therefore, it is no wonder that the typical birds of old forests feel at home also in this area, in this case the treecreeper, the three-toed woodpecker, and the Siberian jay.
The structure of the Tulijoki forests is mostly natural, and there is quite plenty of decayed wood appearing here and there. There are also two small areas exposed to a clear-cutting approximately fifteen years ago, one in the eastern end and one in the western end.
The forest area includes a kilometre of the Tulijoki river. In those place, the river turns into a brook with a sand bottom and clear water. The area is of great value because of the landscape as well, especially closer to the river.
The Tulijoki area is a great home for the beaver as well, which appears in the form of two dams and an inhabited lodge. Building its dams, the beaver has managed to produce quite an amount of decayed wood, the dams also having an impact on the water systems of the forests close to the river. It seems that the river has also been visited by the otter.
The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation has decided to call this new area Tulijoki. It is our 46th conservation area and the second one in the Kainuu region.
Photo: Ari-Pekka Auvinen.