In the planning and caring for forests owned by the municipality, multi functionality, comfort and recreational useability are in focus. Nature values and diversity are key guidelines for forest planning and maintenance as well as maintaining of cultural values.

Forests are a part of municipalities’ climate strategies. They have economic meaning and endorse public health and wellbeing of residents and visitors. In addition forest zones protect residential areas from noise, wind and dust. Forests house a variety of animals, offering shelter and alimentation from small birds to rabbits and other forest animals. “Every man’s right” allows berry and mushroom picking and free use recreational use of forest areas. The Technical and Environmental Department from the Park and Green Area Section of the Municipality of Sipoo is in charge of municipal forest maintenance.

Municipal forests can be divided in accordance with national green area maintenance area classifications:

M1 Valuable forest

Valuable forests are specific forest areas in habitated areas or outside of them. They are specially important and valuable due to the landscape, culture, natural diversity or for other reasons defined by the land owner. Valuable forests are for instance important shoreline forest landscapes, planted noble tree forest and densly grown forests with valuable birdlife. Valuable forests are typically small by the area and clearly definable. The use of valuable forests can be varied. To classify a forest zone as a valuable forest entails defining a specific value with justification. Valuable forests are not conservation areas. Conservation areas are classified as Conservation zone S.

M2 Close forest

Close forests are forests for daily use, in the immediate vicinity of habitated areas. They are used for leisure, play, commuting, outdoor exercise and social purposes. There is a lot of new data about the impact of close forests for people’s well being. It has been noted, that even a small stroll in the forest can reduce blood pressure and stress. In this sense too, close forests are a valuable resource for the area’s inhabitants.

Structures, outdoor furniture and for instance fitness equipment can be placed along the passageways. Consumation of the earth ground is typical and low level vegetation may vary or lack completely due to human activity. Water flooding structures of a natural type can occur in close forests, such as open ditches, streams, marsh lands and ponds as well as flooding areas. Close forests can be divided in park forests (category M2.1) and close recreational forests (category M2.2).

M3 Recreational forest

Recreational forests are situated close to habitated areas or a little farther away. They are used for walking, day trips, exercise, berry and mushroom picking and recreation. They can house different kinds of structure for recreational purposes, such as fire pits and maintained paths and cross-country skiing tracks. Recreational forests can further be categorised in outdoor walking forests (category M3.1) and recreational trip forests (M3.2).

M4 Protective forest

Protective forests are forest areas between residential areas and other built environments and can be used to shelter the residential areas from disturbing activities, such as traffic and industrial functions. They are used to protect and promote health and safety. Protective forests protect  inhabitants for instance from micro particles, dust and noise. In addition they provide visual cover and diminsh disturbance by wind or snow. The best protective effect is obtained with a dense and multi-layered tree coverage. Natural water elements can be present in protective forests, such as ditches, marsh areas and ponds.

M5 Economical forest

An economical forest is a forest area, with economical interests towards it. Economical forests offer economic income and material for further refinement and energy production. In addition to forest industry, they are also open for recreational purposes.

Sipoonkorpi National Park

The Sipoonkorpi National Park is like the nature of Uusimaa area in miniature. The multitude of hiking trails welcome you for recreation and enjoying of the nature’s peace right next to the bustling capital area.

Picture: Suvi Suovaara

kuva: Suvi Suovaara