Model Wetlands

Model Wetlands

Model Wetlands

Find information about wetlands restored in Return of Rural Wetlands LIFE+. 

View wetland presentations:

Note: in Salo, two sites are located close to each other, Lake Vähäjärvi and the Saarenjärvi beach wetland.

Model SOTKA wetlands

In this section selected SOTKA wetlands will be presented once restorations has taken place and wetlands are full of water and waterbird broods. 

Summer of 2023 will be the first year for many revived wetlands, such as Vitmossen, Leväjänkkä and Viikskangas. These sites had concrete action during 2022 with the support of the Finnish Game Foundation and Italian hunting federation in cooperation with the Waterfowlers Network. Waterbirds are a shared resource and long-term conservation is most successful at Flyway level incorporating coordinated actions on sustainability of hunting and conserving and restoring key habitats. 

Vitmossen – landowner developing 5-hectare wetland from wet farmland

Photo of a field scenery taken with a drone.
The green hayfield floods easily and therefore cumbersome to farm. During spring floods the field is full of staging waterbirds on their way to find wetland to raise their young. What if there would be brood habitat right here? Photo: Holtti Hakonen
Bulldozer on a meadow.
Let’s make plan, work the way through the necessary bureaucracy and get to work! Bulldozer is a cost-effective tool to create gentle slopes and durable dams at the wetlands. Photo: Holtti Hakonen
Field scenery photo taken with a drone.
Almost ready! Lowest laying section of the field was untouched, providing perfect flooded habitat for birds while areas of soil extraction for dam construction provides space for wetland vegetation succession. Photo: Holtti Hakonen
Small wetland photo taken with a drone.
At the back corner of Vitmossen property another small field edge had the same actions. Soil extraction are already filled with water and on the summer of 2023 the water will be raised to flood the low-laying grass for perfect brood habitat. Photo: Holtti Hakonen

Leväjänkkä – old peatmine turned 50-hectare bird paradise

Almost 1,5-kilometre dam construction started during 2021.  Dams were build to hold water at three different levels to optimize the surface area of shallow brood habitats on this wetland.

Photo of a old peatmine with built dams. Photo is taken with a drone.
Almost 1,5-kilometre dam construction started during 2021. Dams were build to hold water at three different levels to optimize the surface area of shallow brood habitats on this wetland. Photo: Holtti Hakonen
Shovel moving land on a wetland construction site.
Water regulation devices were assembled to every dam to allow regulation of water levels for wetland management for long-term viability of the habitat. Summer of 2022 the dams were finalised and grass seed sown to the structures. Summer of 2023 we will have new pictures revealing the extent of the activities. Photo: Holtti Hakonen

Viikskangas – drained 9-hectared aapa-mire brought back to life almost at Arctic Cirle

Photo of a swamp scenery taken with a drone.
Photo: Holtti Hakonen

Finland has the black belt on peatland drainage for forestry purposes. There is enough ditches on peatlands to stretch four times the distance from Earth to Moon! Many open mires that used to hold water through the summer and provide brood habitat for wetland birds suffer from the drainage. Many of these habitats can be brought back to life by plugging ditches, directing drainage waters back to the mires and by damming where necessary.

The aapa mires usually have extremely soft soils where machinery work is often possible only when the soil is frozen. Dam building took place in the heart of the arctic winter. The daylight is not very bright at 12 noon on 21st of December at Viikskangas. Six months later there is just as dark at midnight, so plenty of sunlight for ducklings to enjoy the summer! 

The summer of 2023 will show how waterbirds react to the revived Aapa mire.

Wintery construction site. A man standing next to a shovel.
Photo: Lauri Laitila
Wintery scenery with lots of snow and forest. Photo taken with a drone.
Photo: Lauri Laitila