The entire Aittosaari island now protected in Viitasaari

The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation has bought three plots of land of approximately one hectare each on Aittosaari island in the lake Keitele in Viitasaari. The Foundation now owns all of this beautiful island.

Keitele is a clear lake, and on one of its islands located further south, the founder of the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation Pentti Linkola began his career as a fisherman in the 1960s. Karoliina Keskitalo, who sold two of the plots on the island, wanted to honour the legacy of Pentti Linkola and reduced her price generously. Helena Hakkarainen also sold her plot at a very reasonable price. The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation’s Conservation Director Anneli Jussila thanks the sellers, as the Foundation would otherwise have been unable to buy the plots on Aittosaari, which also contain buildings.

“We have not yet decided how we will use the buildings. We have thought about renting them out to nature lovers as a place for quiet reflection, but we are still at the planning stage,” Jussila says.

The total area of Aittosaari island is approximately seven hectares. The Foundation previously owned just over four hectares on the island, which it purchased from UPM in April 2010. The latest purchase allows the Foundation to protect an additional area of approximately three hectares, meaning that the entire island is now protected.

The nature on Aittosaari island is varied: grassy heaths with lush spruces and broadleaf trees, rugged pine woods, lichen-covered rocks with old pine trees, and a strip of beautiful beach. The forest has not been cleared around the buildings, so they are beautifully surrounded by the trees, and also well camouflaged from the lake.

“In addition to protecting biodiversity, protecting Aittosaari is also important for the landscape. Other islands located near Aittosaari, such as Honkasaari, have also been protected. From now on, the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation will work harder to protect islands of a high natural value, and to achieve this we need the help of our donors,” the Foundation’s Conservation Director Anneli Jussila explains.

Photo: Anneli Jussila

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