Nature loss, or the loss of biodiversity, is one of the greatest problems of our time. In Espoo, it can be combatted locally by safeguarding and promoting Espoo’s own nature values.
It is vital that we are able to preserve areas that have significant nature value and ecological corridors while the city is growing. This way, we can safeguard biodiversity and ensure the preservation of functioning ecosystems. At the same time, we promote the recreational and health benefits that nature has to offer as well as other vitally important nature benefits. In addition to the conservation network, we need practices that penetrate all of the city’s operations and consider biodiversity in a broader sense in all activities. In many places, diversity can also be further promoted and developed.
Ecological corridors play a key role
Ecological corridor, or green corridor, is a zone of passage that promotes the spread and mitigation of wildlife species. Various species rely on ecological corridors to move from one area to another. For example, flying squirrels depend on connections made by trees that grow sufficiently close to one another, while aquatic animals require continuous water routes between different areas.
The current state of the ecological network was studied in Espoo in 2018–2021, and an action plan was drawn to supplement the conservation network. Furthermore, the city’s practices for promoting biodiversity beyond the conservation network were also collected together.
Explore nature reserves
The nature reserves of Espoo allow you to explore protected and diverse nature. Going on foot, picking berries and mushrooms, as well as other outdoor and recreational activities that are not disturbing to wildlife are allowed in almost all nature reserves. Protected nesting and resting islands for birds make an exception. Some of the nature reserves feature signs and nature trails, while others are intended for independent exploration.
In addition to the actual nature reserves, many other areas of significant nature value have been identified in Espoo. The goal is to safeguard the nature values of these areas through means of land use and nature management planning. The City of Espoo will complement its conservation network in accordance with its biodiversity action plan in 2021–2030.
Everyone can contribute to biodiversity
Through small acts, we can all make a difference in promoting biodiversity. If you have your own yard, you can perhaps keep a part of it less maintained. You can also plant flowers in your yard, allow leaves to decompose instead of raking them or even build a branch fence. Planting bushes, shrubs and trees and putting up nest boxes and bug hotels are all good ways of creating shelter and nesting places for fauna. You can grow pollinator-friendly plants in your yard and balcony.
You should also consider sustainability in your daily mobility and purchase choices. We can all participate in community efforts to clean our surroundings or stop invasive species or even organise one ourselves.