Development of year-round, nature-based tourism linked to peatlands. Use of natural materials to provide infrastructure for access to peatlands.
Pilot project lead body
Agency and other group partners
- Geological Survey of Finland
- Lapland Regional Environment Centre
- TE Centre for Lapland
Overview of Finnish peatlands
Finland has extensive peatlands, which include large forest bogs and several kinds of mire, including the greatest diversity of aapa mires in the world. Bogs cover some 26 per cent of the Finnish land surface. Drainage of peatlands, especially for forestry, has greatly reduced the area of undisturbed Finnish peatlands, especially since the beginning of the 1960s.
Drainage has been intense in southern and eastern Finland. In northern and western Finland, although there has been extensive peatland drainage, the high proportion of peatland land cover means that much undrained bog still remains. In Lapland, for example, where LEADER+ peatland project work was carried out, only around 20 per cent of peatland has been drained.
Finnish peatlands have economic significance through their use for fuel, with national peat-fuelled energy production second only to Ireland in world terms. Cultural links in the project study area are through past use, such as haymaking on bogs, and current enjoyment through outdoor activities such as hiking and berry picking.
According to local participants in the project workshop held in Rovaniemi, Finnish people 'don't value mires highly and are somewhat suspicious of them'. Despite this perception in the wider population, Finland is a country where peatland specialists have been leaders in mire research and mire conservation.
Finnish peatland site involved in the LEADER+ project
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