Sunday 9th September, Day 6

Ecology of mires and peatlands in Finnish forestry and Forest industry and Local development.(SB)

On Sunday we met Senior Lecturer Pirjo Puustjärvi at the University of Applied Sciences having given Miia the day off!

Natural regeneration on the bog

We were off to see the bog and mire habitats of Lakkasuo peatlands which have never been drained and are owned by the University. We ensured that our heads were covered up and headed off into the woods on the duck boards we’d come to associate with Finland’s watery environment. We walked through spruce and alder woodlands as the trees (Spruce and Scots Pine) became less dense and the bogs and mires (blanket bog) more obvious – to a depth of 4metres! Blanket bog is one of the rarest habitats in the world. Finland is home to 10,000,000 hectares of different bog habitats, created by glacial activity over the millennia.

It was explained that normally we’d hardly be able to even see the duck boards but due to the drought conditions of this year’s summer we could see all of them. They were initially put in in 1965 by students otherwise we’d not be able to walk around the area. There was a lot less standing water than at first expected but the colours of the bog sphagnums made up for it, growing at 1cm per year. Apparently there are 40 different sphagnums in Finland from top to bottom of the country – compare that to the 10 species necessary for a SSSI in the UK! Additionally, the number of sedges was 70 – 90 which is huge compared to what we can find in Scotland let along the UK as a whole!