Skip to main content

Ecological restoration and management

The importance of restoration and habitat management in preserving biodiversity has grown in recent decades, as they are key means of turning the development of biodiversity towards recovery. Restoration and nature management are an important part of both EU and national biodiversity strategy measures. The focal point of the work is gradually moving from protected areas to commercial forests, agricultural environments, or urban and built-up areas.

Managed esker forest.
The view from Syrjänharju ridge in Janakkala after the thinning of trees. The Nottingham catchfly growing in the foreground benefits from increasing light. © Terhi Ryttäri.

A goal of caring for and restoring natural environments is to bring back, revive, and preserve special features of the natural environment.

In wooded habitats restoration and habitats management methods are used to increase structural features that are crucial for diversity, such as the different structures of the timber and decayed wood. In swamps the goal is to restore the water economy to a near natural state.  Moulding traditional land use and preserving traditional biotopes requires constant care.

In upgrading flowing waters, restoring the diversity of the channel is the key priority, but examining the risk factors in the catchment basin is also important. Upgrading springs requires careful planning and knowledge of species there to avoid harm to the sensitive flora and fauna in the springs. The restoration of bird waters and wetlands through measures such as clearing vegetation, dredging, mowing, grazing, or raising water levels helps a wide array of threatened and declining species of birds. 

Cattle on a shore pasture.
Grazing is an important part of care for bird waters and traditional biotopes. Where grazing ends, nature values decline. © Riku Lumiaro

Habitats management of commercial forests means the securing of nature values in commercial forests as part of forest management. A forest owner's choices affect the nature values of their own forest both now and into the future. Nature care action in commercial forests are aimed at securing the diversity of nature, water purity, and cultural heritage, and to take into account the landscape and the possibilities of multiple uses of forests as part of other uses of the forest. 

Habitats management in commercial forests is important for securing the diversity of forest nature, as most of our forests are commercial forests.

Habitats management in protected areas 

Metsähallitus oversees restoration and habitats management in protected areas. Restoration and habitats management of the living environments of nature reserves include many measures with whose help efforts are made to improve the natural state and representative quality of the locations. Restoration is generally a once-off measure targeting an area where its beneficial effects on diversity is as great as possible. A single measure can push the development of a biotope toward a natural state or accelerate its recovery.

Volunteers moving a meadow.
Upgrading the habitat of the Clouded Apollo butterfly at a volunteer work project organised by Metsähallitus in Porvoo. © Riku Lumiaro

Habitats management refers to reviving maintaining a habitat or a living environment that is favourable for species that need protection. Care measures often need to be repeated occasionally so that the typical features of a living environment or the population of a species can gain strength. Habitats management occurs in places including groves and sunny and dry habitats. The removal of harmful invasive plant species, such as Himalayan balsam, and harmful small predators, such as mink, has increased, specifically to secure the species in protected areas.

Further information:


Finnish Environment Institute (Syke)