Viikskangas Wetland

Model Wetlands • Viikskangas, Rovaniemi

Ilmakuva kosteikosta.

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

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! 

Photo of a swamp scenery taken with a drone.
Starting situation in July 2021. 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 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