THE RECENTLY ESTABLISHED KULLA NATURE RESERVE IN KIMITOÖN ENCOMPASSES AN OLD-GROWTH SPRUCE FOREST, A BROOK ALONG BLACK ALDER CARR, A PINE SWAMP RICH IN MARSH TEA, AND A BRONZE AGE BURIAL MOUND. MANY SPECIES OF BIRDS INHABIT THE AREA, AND IT IS HOME TO THE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED GREEN SHIELD-MOSS (BUXBAUMIA VIRIDIS). THE KULLA RESERVE BORDERS OTHER NATURE RESERVES, AND THE ADDITION OF THIS TERRAIN EXTENDS THEIR AREA TO A TOTAL OF 350 HECTARES.
As a gift to the 100-year-old independent Finland, Kone Foundation has established the new Kulla nature reserve on Kimitoön in Southwest Finland. The area of some 130 hectares is named after the nearby village of Kulla. The Southwest Finland ELY Centre approved the preservation of the area as part of the My Nature Gift campaign to celebrate the centenary of Finland’s independence.
Kone Foundation established the nature reserve, above all, to compensate for the environmental damage caused by the Foundation and its grantees. The activities of the Foundation’s nearly one thousand grant recipients and employees cause significant strain on the environment and natural resources.
“Ecological compensation refers to actions through which nature is compensated for damage caused by societal activities. Kone Foundation strives to be environmentally responsible while it makes the world better by promoting bold initiatives in academic research and art. By establishing the Kulla nature reserve, we can secure its restoration to a natural state and ensure its preservation for future generations. We also hope that our example encourages others to consider the environmental impact of their activities and compensate for the ecological damage they have caused”, states Professor Janne Kotiaho, member of the Kone Foundation Board of Trustees.
Freedom to roam at the Kulla nature reserve
The new Kulla nature reserve, situated in the vicinity of the Kulla village on Kimitoön (Kemiönsaari), is a diverse forested area near the western edge of the Stormossen Natura 2000 area. The reserve’s most conservationally valuable area is a 22-hectare, 120-year-old spruce grove in its natural state, which also includes a mixed forest of robust pines, birches, goat willows, and black alders.
The most significant species found in the area is the green shield-moss (Buxbaumia viridis), which is critically endangered and classified as requiring special conservation. Among the species of birds that favour old-growth forests, sightings from the area during nesting time include the red-breasted flycatcher, northern goshawk, hazel grouse, black grouse, capercaillie, hobby, wood warbler, willow tit, crested tit, common treecreeper, grey-headed woodpecker, and black woodpecker.
A spruce grove at the western edge of the reserve contains a Bronze Age burial mound. Old pines grow in the rocky and rugged parts of the area. To the south of the area is a five-hectare nature reserve of a rocky, old pine grove, established by the Kimitoön parish.
At Kulla nature reserve, the freedom to roam permits hiking and the picking of berries and mushrooms. Hunting and the use of motor vehicles are not permitted in the area. There are plans of implementing light infrastructure for the benefit of hikers in the near future.
The Kulla area is a part of a coherent, 350-hectare nature reserve
Kone Foundation purchased the land from the Kimitoön municipality in September 2017. The Foundation preserves the area as part of the My Nature Gift campaign to celebrate Finland’s 100 years of independence. The campaign is coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment and aims to create at least 100 hectares of privately-owned, permanent new nature reserves in each of the country’s 18 regions.
As part of the campaign, the state has, in turn, pledged to match the privately conserved land area up to the minimum goal of 100 hectares. In response to the Kulla nature reserve, Parks & Wildlife Finland has decided to conserve a 70-hectare forest area under its ownership that borders the existing reserves. As a result of these new initiatives, the area of the coherent nature reserve will be increased to a total of 350 hectares and is now of a significant size within the sub-region.
Member of the Kone Foundation Board of Trustees, Professor Janne Kotiaho firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 50 594 6881.
Head of Communications Heljä Franssila, Kone Foundation, email@example.com, +358 44 728 9908