Konstsamfundet protects over 60 hectares of forest


Söderlångvik Manor’s forest stategy is updated

Insulanova Ab, owned by Föreningen Konstsamfundet, has taken the initiative for a new nature conservation area on the island of Bergö in Västanfjärd on southern Kimitoön. The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (Fin. ELY-keskus) has approved the application. The area is characterized by archipelago nature with rugged mountains, fertile depressions and primeval forest-like areas. The protection is permanent and implemented by the voluntary METSO (Forest Diversity Program for Southern Finland) program. Konstsamfundet’s forestry strategy is currently being revised and the plan includes e.g. to inventory nature in the entire forest holding.

The terrain on the Bergö and Bergvik properties varies. Signalberget is a large contiguous rocky area, which is partly wooded and partly more open. In the protected area there are 4.5 hectares of fertile groves and almost 20 hectares of musk forests, which are important for biodiversity. There are also deciduous swamp forests and swimming forests, as well as peatlands. There is plenty of rotten wood. The new nature conservation area is 64 hectares in size and has been named Bergö nature conservation area. The new fully protected area does not prohibit disembarkation, in other words it is still allowed to visit the area.

After the landowner has contacted the ELY center, the area’s natural values have been inventoried and Skog has examined whether the area meets the criteria for a METSO area. In order for a nature reserve to be established based on the METSO criteria, there must be habitats that are worthy of protection.

There is plenty of dead wood in the completely protected area on Bergö in the southern Kimitoön archipelago. Many species depend on dead wood. Photo: Jens Skog

Nature conservation area ensures the presence of endangered species

In the area, it is still allowed to move freely and pick berries and mushrooms. Hunting is allowed, as well as removing species of foreign origin and maintaining existing trails. The land is still owned by Konstsamfundet, but all forestry activities are prohibited.

Both in the archipelago and on the mainland, it is important to establish nature conservation areas to preserve and secure the diversity of species and habitats. The nature conservation areas can also ensure that there are areas that are kept in a natural state, when otherwise there are fewer and fewer of these areas. If habitat types in natural conditions are preserved or secured, the species that occur in these habitats also benefit.

At the edge of Signalberget are cliffs, which have valuable natural values. The protection has been implemented with the METSO program. Photo: Jens Skog

By enlarging the protected area, Konstsamfundet wants to contribute to increased biodiversity and promote Finnish forest nature.

The association chose not to protect Bergö’s previously planted fields. A more long-term plan is to restore the meadows and in that way also promote species that depend on more open landscapes.

The nature reserve has large uniform mountains, fertile groves and moss forests. Deciduous forests, floating forests and peatlands, which are important for diversity, are also represented. Photo: Jens Skog

Responsible forest strategy

Konstsamfundet has a forest holding of approximately 7,000 hectares. The forest has many values and especially in the vicinity of Söderlångvik Manor, social and ecological goals have a greater significance than economic benefit. Continuity forestry and extended turnaround times are methods preferred in areas with high recreational value. A new forest strategy for Konstsamfundet’s forests is under construction and the plan must be as diverse as possible.

The strategy work will start with the entire forest holding being inventoried in nature. Endangered habitats according to the Forest, Water and Nature Conservation Act are examined, as well as e.g. bird inventory according to the EU Birds Directive. The inventory is expected to be completed during the summer of 2022.

The forest strategy will take into account biodiversity, landscape values, carbon sequestration and carbon sinks, as well as economic aspects. Konstsamfundet wants to be a responsible forest owner, who takes into account the forest’s current and future tasks.

Questions about the METSO program are answered by Chief Inspector Jens Skog, tel. 050-3803708 and other questions are answered by Söderlångvik Manor forest manager Siv Vesterlund-Karlsson, tel. 044-7257570.