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Nature protection

Lauri Vesa
About 52,250 hectares (3.4%) of the forest land in North Karelia are protected by law. This area includes the National Parks and Nature Reserves, the conservation areas of groves, old forests and swamps, and private nature reserves. Directives from the EU oblige Finland, as a member of the EU, to protect nature. According to the Nature Directive, a Natura 2000 area has to be established.

There are three National Parks in North Karelia. Their total area is over 15,000 ha. The primary function of the National Parks is to secure undisturbed development of nature. National parks are public areas that are used in education and in research. The primary function of the Nature Reserves is for nature conservation and research, and access is highly restricted.

The three National Parks in North Karelia are popular tourist destinations. The National Park of Koli is situated on the shore of Lake Pielinen in Lieksa. The National Park of Koli was founded in 1991 and it was later expanded. Koli is one of the 27 National Landscapes. In the early 19th century, Koli was a place of pilgrimage for artists inspired by the Kalevala (an epic Finnish folk story by Elias Lönnrot). The view from the top of Koli has been perpetuated by many artists that represented nationalistic romanticism. Their work influences the image people have of Koli: the scenery of water, islands and high ridges. Old spruce stands, rocky tops of hills and clearings that in olden days had been burnt over for cultivation but are now overgrown by birches characterize the region.

The National Park of Patvinsuo is located on the boundary between Lieksa and Ilomantsi (an area of about 10,000 ha, about 900 ha of which is water). The National Park of Patvinsuo is especially a protection area of swamps, although there are many nature types in the park. Bears (Ursus arctos) and other large predatory animals are often found in the park. The population of the beaver (Castor canadensis) is growing in the area.

The National Park of Petkeljärvi near the national frontier is the smallest national park: its area is 630 ha, 360 ha of which is water. Lakes and ponds that are between narrow and steep ridges are characteristic to the park. This national park is suitable for boat trips and canoeing. Cut-and-cover shelters (korsut), or dugouts, and trenches serve as reminders of the war history of the country.

6 records found in EUROFOREST Portal

  1. Kolin kansallispuisto
    • Koli National Park
  2. Kolvananuuron luonnonsuojelualue
    • Kolvananuuro Nature Protection Area
  3. Natura 2000 -alueet Pohjois-Karjalassa
    • Natura 2000 areas in North Karelia
  4. Patvinsuon kansallispuisto
    • Patvinsuo National Park
  5. Petkeljärven kansallispuisto
    • Petkeljärvi National Park
  6. Региональная общественная природоохранная организация (СПОК)
    • Regional Public Nature Conservation Organization of Karelia (SPOK)