Our green gold

There’s not a lot of forest in the outer archipelago, but on the green island of Nötö, there is plenty of it! Forest is important for people, for the environment and even for our fish friends. Do you know what all kinds of benefits forests provide?

Here in the archipelago, as well as elsewhere in Finland, wood has been used for many purposes. People have built wooden houses and wooden boats. Back in the day a lot of wood was needed for heating homes and for cooking. The forests of Nötö provided enough wood to be sold even to other islands of the outer archipelago that didn’t have forests of their own. Wandering around in forests is also good for people. A walk in the forest calms down and invigorates, slows heart rate down and lowers blood pressure. It is very healthy indeed!

Forests are home for many kinds of organisms. Especially old-growth forests with plenty of deadwood are buzzing with all sorts of life. We won’t even notice most of these organisms if we don’t purposely concentrate on observing our surroundings. Go ahead and try to count how many different plants, mushrooms, polypore or insects can you count during your forest outing! But even if many organisms are hard to notice, they all have their own function in the nature.

Thirsty trees drink up the water that runs along the soil surface and in the process, they take up the nutrients that the run-off water contains. Therefore, they reduce the amount of nutrients that end up in the sea. Nutrients are much for more useful for the tree than for the Baltic Sea and its inhabitants. Too much nutrients in the water cause eutrophication, which manifests itself as blooming of blue-green algae and smelly seabed. Trees and other plants however use the nutrient to support their own growth.

As we take care of our own forests, we also take care of the forests of our fishy friends!

Forest bingo! 

Respect nature and keep everyman’s rights in mind. Don’t bend branches, tear plants or disturb animals. When picking berries and mushrooms, you must know which ones are safe to collect because there are poisonous species growing in our forests!

Did you know that spruce arrived in the Archipelago Sea even later than people did?

Can you find the boulder?