Espoo has set up a heritage forest, which is a 27-hectare forest voluntarily protected by the City. The forest is Espoo's entry to the WWF heritage forest campaign. The status of a heritage forest contributes to both nature and recreational value of the area. Espoo's heritage forest was named Ritva's Forest after the late Ritva Veijonen, Director of Environmental Affairs.
Ritva's Forest is located in the Espoo central park, between Mössenkärri (Vehkalampi) and the Suna residential area. It consists mainly of 90-110-year-old herb-rich forest and semi-arid coniferous forest. The amount of decayed wood is expected to increase in the near future. In addition, the forest has small clearings typical to old forests in a natural state. The forest has a trail, which will be marked with signs that provide information on the Espoo heritage forest and forest conservation in Finland. Ritva's Forest also provides an excellent location for school visits from Espoo Centre, Olari and Kuurinniitty.
Heritage forest is a forest owner's voluntary decision to preserve favourite sites in their natural state for future generations. The value of the area may be based on, for example, beauty, sentimental value or rich natural environment. As in Espoo, many heritage forests have been set up to commemorate someone of personal or public importance. The decision is not legally binding and can be cancelled, if necessary.