This is a forest bog within the (Napapiiri) Arctic Circle Hiking Area. It is in the municipality of Rovaniemi, about 20km north of the town of the same name. The Arctic Circle Hiking Area is one of seven national hiking areas set up under Finland's Outdoor Recreation Act for hiking and other recreational uses. This is a wilderness-like destination, whose dominating features are barren hills, open, waterlogged aapa mires and the River Raundanjoki, which has spectacular rapids and lush, shoreline forest.
Metsähallitus, a state-owned organisation whose core business is forestry and nature conservation. Much of Lapland, Finland's most northerly region, is state-owned and is managed by Metsähallitus. While Metsähallitus' core business is forestry and nature conservation, recreational users make up its largest group of customers. This organisation has many years' experience of building paths and visitor facilities in sensitive natural areas and has developed a detailed construction manual for environmental structures. You can see an English-language summary of the main points of the manual (link), shared at the LEADER+ project workshop in Finland.
From the perspective of Finnish users of the area, berries are an important feature of the peatland vegetation. In some years, pine-covered bogs on the edges of the aapa mires have abundant crops of cloudberries and (in late autumn) cranberries. Both of these are collected and eaten in large numbers.
Previous use/cultural relevance
When cattle rearing expanded in northern Finland, there was a lack of forage. People started to cut hay from natural vegetation beside rivers and on peatlands. This hay was cut with scythes, dried in stacks and then stored in a barn. The old natural meadow in the Kivalonaava site was used until 1950.
Almost 40,000 visitors per year to the whole Arctic Circle Hiking Area, with 4000-5000 going through the LEADER+ project site. These visitors include local people, day visitors, school groups and tourists travelling with safari companies.
Aim of LEADER+ work
To investigate the use of natural materials in peatland walkways and interpretation and to use local stories and folklore in site interpretation