Pyysmäki forest in Somero becomes a conservation area

The Natural Heritage Foundation has recently purchased a handsome forest in Somero in Southwest Finland. Pyysmäki forest is located in the most south-westerly part of the southern boreal coniferous zone in Southwestern Häme. The eight-hectare forest consists mostly of spruce-dominated fresh heath of the bilberry type, with tall pines, old silver birch, and thick aspen.

“These kinds of forests rarely come up for sale in Southwest Finland,” says Mikko Hovila from the Natural Heritage Foundation, who is also familiar with the history of Pyysmäki forest.

“In this forest, there was never a move from the selection felling approach of the 1930s to low thinning and clear-cutting. After the war, trees were mostly felled for household use, and in the past few decades only windthrows were cleared away. In the past few years even those have been left on the ground, and decayed wood has started to form.”

The spruce-dominated Pyysmäki forest grows on fertile soil, and therefore the tree stock will increase considerably over the years. The super-canopy trees, which are currently a hundred years old on average, will continue to bind carbon dioxide for more than a hundred years, and even after that, the soil will continue to bind carbon dioxide for a long time.

Forests like Pyysmäki are also important for people’s wellbeing. Locals who pick berries and mushrooms and spend time in nature already know what a valuable forest this is.

”This is the ideal place for relaxed wellbeing trips that bring inner peace and help people face the challenges in their everyday lives,” Mikko Hovila from the Natural Heritage Foundation comments.

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Old forests still sold for felling – the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation offers an alternative

The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation, which promotes the protection of Finnish nature, is concerned about the slow progress of forest protection in Finland. The situation is illustrated well by the fact that the Foundation is not even able to acquire and protect all the areas of old forest that are for sale publicly. The main challenge is the lack of funding.
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