The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation purchased a forest area of approximately eight hectares in the municipality of Taivassalo, which is located within a historical region in Southwest Finland, the site being named Järvenranta.
“The conservation area is locked inside the most diverse vegetation zone in our country, the so-called oak zone in the southwesternmost part of Finland,” says Mikko Hovila, an agronomist who also serves as the vice-chairman of the board in the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation.
A fourth of the area is made up of the western section of the drained lake of Taipaleenjärvi, which has turned into a wetland entirely covered by the reed. The moor frog has been found by the wetland, a species entitled special protection under the EU’s nature directive. As for the birds usually found by wetlands, the reed bunting and the sedge warbler have been detected. There is a closer investigation to be made into the bird population in the future.
The wetland of Lake Taipaleenjärvi transitions gradually into a forest along the narrow flood meadow zone, which remains under water during the flood season.
“An ecotone such as the intact Järvenranta area, that is the ecological transition area between two biological communities, is rare in today’s nature. The natural and bright birch zone is a delight to the eye of those wandering through the area,” says Mikko Hovila with content.
The western section of the Järvenranta area includes a couple of hectares of more robust mixed forest, which starts resembling an old natural forest as time goes by. The aspens, some of them robust already, stand there as a sign of diversity. Those wandering through the area may encounter, for example, the resounding screams of the black woodpecker.
The forest continues into the southeastern section with robust pines. The history of the site also appears from a field that is becoming forested by junipers as well as an overgrown field that was never cultivated. The buzzard preys in the fields, the new conservation area serving as a permanent refuge for this bird.
Photo: Mikko Hovila