To many people, Lapland is a far away and mysterious place. It is one of the northernmost parts of the world with a forest cover. There is something magical about the forest to which the Finnish soul has always been linked. For this reason, the Helsinki Foundation has chosen a forest in Lapland as its first conservation area. The land in question is situated above the Arctic circle near Finland’s eastern border in Salla.
The property has several hundred metres of shoreline with the crystal clear waters of Lake Näsmäjärvi. The 100 - year old forest provides many nesting places for local wildlife. In the peaceful taiga forest one might hear the chuckle of the willow grouse or see the reindeer scraping the snow away to get at the lichen below.
The changing of seasons in Lapland is dramatic and very noticeable. In winter, snow and ice take over both land and water. It is the time of the Polar Night. A night which lasts 51 days. In the spring, nature wakes up from the long darkness of winter. In summertime, both plants and wildlife enjoy the 24 hour sunlight and the warmth. Autumn is probably the most beautiful season. As the first night time frost sets in and the days get shorter, the trees start preparing for the long winter sleep. Their leaves change colour from green into a riot of gold and red. This splendour is called ruska. The forest is full of berries and mushrooms just waiting to be picked. After autumn, the cycle is complete and the forest again falls into winter sleep with the Northern Lights brightening up the sky.