Metsähallitus’ cultural heritage survey receives a Special Mention from Europa Nostra

The project that carried out a field survey of cultural heritage sites in multiple-use forests owned by the state in 2010-2015 was awarded a Special Mention by the Europa Nostra jury. Special Mentions are given to outstanding contributions to the conservation and enhancement of Europe’s cultural heritage. This recognition was presented to Metsähallitus at the European Heritage Congress, a major cultural heritage event, in Turku on 15 May.

Metsähallitus’ survey of cultural heritage sites in state-owned forests received the Special Mention in the Research category. In its justifications, the Europa Nostra jury noted that this exceptionally large-scale and comprehensive survey both engaged various stakeholders and groups and helped to bridge culture and nature in Finland.

– We are really happy about this award. The project was exceptional by both Finnish and European standards, not only because of its size but also because the time frame of the survey extended almost up to modern times, says Hanna Kelola-Mäkeläinen, who served as a cultural heritage specialist in the project.

The cultural heritage survey documented and protected over 10,000 cultural heritage sites in state-owned multiple-use forests, including over 100,000 individual structures. The survey covered a time period of almost 10,000 years – from traces left by Finland’s earliest settlers to farmsteads that were deserted as a result of urbanisation in the 1950s and 60s.

– The cultural heritage of multiple-use forests is now very well known. The survey also secured the preservation of younger cultural heritage mainly dating back to the 1900s in state-owned forests, explains Sustainable Development Manager Antti Otsamo from Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd.

The survey collected a wealth of open data that enables the use of cultural heritage sites both for tourism development and teaching and research. The survey reports are publicly accessible on Metsähallitus’ website, and the images have been saved to the Kantapuu.fi service of the Finnish Forest Museum Lusto. A free eBook was also produced on the survey, which provides more detailed information on the project outcomes and contains suggestions for excursions in the multiple-use forests.

In total, the project inventoried almost four million hectares of forests in commercial use, poorly productive forest lands and waste lands. The total costs of the survey amounted to some EUR four million, and the funding was provided by Metsähallitus’ forestry unit (today Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd).

Europa Nostra, an organisation established in 1963 to foster European cultural heritage, operates in over 50 countries. The organisation has presented the joint cultural heritage awards of the European Union and Europa Nostra since 2002. This year, the jury gave a Special Mention to 13 projects from 11 European Member States. While Metsähallitus’ cultural heritage survey project was the only Finnish candidate to receive a Special Mention, a Europa Nostra award was presented to the Paavo Nurmi Legacy project.

Further information:

Cultural Heritage in Multiple-use Forests: http://www.metsa.fi/web/en/cultural-heritage-in-multiple-use-forests

Europa Nostra Special Mention 2017: https://www.europanostra.org/2017-eu-prize-cultural-heritage-europa-nostra-awards-special-mentions/

Communications Officer Hanna Kelola-Mäkeläinen, tel. +358 40 180 4592, hanna.kelola-makelainen@metsa.fi

Sustainable Development Manager Antti Otsamo, Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd., tel. +358 40 719 7734, antti.otsamo@metsa.fi

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Published 18/05/2017

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