Services for people enjoying nature are being developed in Helsinki

Uutta Helsinkiä
30.9.2022
Helsinki is currently preparing its first nature service policy. The purpose of the policy is to safeguard the biodiversity of natural areas in Helsinki and to offer residents and visitors good opportunities to enjoy nature.

Helsinki is currently preparing its first nature service policy. The purpose of the policy is to safeguard the biodiversity of natural areas in Helsinki and to offer residents and visitors good opportunities to enjoy nature.

Helsinki’s natural areas are important for residents’ recreational needs and health. However, as the city grows, the pressure on the natural areas is increasing. Due to the large number of visitors, service structures, such as guided trails and cosy rest areas, are needed in nature. Marked trails and rest areas are used to guide the movement of people in order to prevent overuse of the delicate nature. Nature services help in protecting Helsinki’s natural values and the biodiversity of nature.

The policy will outline how the services should be developed in order to enhance their scope and equal availability and to ensure the preservation of nature values. The policy will also assess the current state of nature services.

Nature services are provided in nature conservation areas and in forested and maritime recreational areas. In addition to physical structures, important nature services offered by the city include online digital guides and other nature information that promote nature awareness and appreciation of nature. Nature excursions and working bees organised by the city are also part of Helsinki’s nature services.

Respond to the survey by 12 October

City residents can share their habits and wishes related to nature services by responding to the online survey that will remain open until 12 October. The survey asks, among other things, what nature services are used by city residents, how satisfied they are with them, what kind of services should be added and where they should be located. Five copies of Lumoava Helsinki – 200 luontoelämystä will be raffled off to respondents who have provided their contact details. Stakeholders have been invited to discuss the objectives of nature services at a workshop in October.

The policy on nature services will be created as part of the City of Helsinki Biodiversity Action Plan 2021–2028 (LUMO). The aim is to complete the policy in spring 2023.

Forest management policies are also being reformed

The policies governing the management of Helsinki’s urban forests will also be updated over the course of this year. The key aims of these policies include a systematic increase of biodiversity in forested areas and facilitating the natural aging of forests. Furthermore, the policies prepare for climate change and forests’ ability to cope with the growing city. The forest management policies will be updated to better reflect the current strategy of the city and they are also linked to the goals of the LUMO programme. A survey on forest management aimed at city residents will open in early October.