For a city of its size, Espoo is exceptionally green. Local nature is very rich and covers almost the whole spectrum of natural specificities in Finland. It is rare for a city to be able to boast wilderness forests such as the Nuuksio National Park, dozens of lakes and a scenic seashore. Southern part of the City is characterised by the sea with its varied coastline and archipelago, but Espoo also has a large number of inland waters from different types of lakes to rivers, streams and springs. Forests are vast and enlivened with bare cliffs and open bogs.
Rich fauna and flora reflect the biological diversity in Espoo. The City provides a home for over 70 endangered species and more than 100 near-threatened species. In addition, many species listed as 'strictly protected' under the EU Natural Habitats Directive live in Espoo, including the Flying squirrel and many bat species.
Espoo has 82 nature reserves and 32 protected habitats. Habitats are small, valuable environments such as hardwood forests or hazel groves, which are protected in order to ensure the survival of their natural characteristics. Espoo has five protected areas for species of special concern and 54 natural monuments, such as large trees or boulders.
In addition, Espoo promotes biodiversity in the whole of the EU with six Natura 2000 network areas: Matalajärvi lake, Espoonlahti-Saunalahti bay area, Laajalahti bird wetlands, forests in Nuuksio and Bånberget, and the mires, herb-rich forests and old-growth forests in Vestra.