Hydrology LIFE - Restoring the hydrological integrity of wetland habitats in Finland

LIFE16 NAT/FI/000583

Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version  

Contact details:

Contact person: Tuomas HAAPALEHTO
Email: tuomas.haapalehto@metsa.fi

Project description:


During the last few decades, more than 60% of Finland’s original peatland area has been drained for forestry. This serious habitat degradation has been most intensive in southern and central Finland, where only 25% of the original peatlands remains. Drainage also decreases the quality of undrained peatlands, by lowering the water table level of the entire mire complex. The result is loss of peatland species, most often caused by alterations in hydrology and increased tree cover. Ditches are often located on the edges of Natura 2000 network sites. Finland is the most lake-rich country in the EU. In many lakes, natural water level has been lowered because ditches and rivulets have been turned into straight channels, which has negative effects for ecosystems. Lakes have the ability to store water and thus to reduce water level fluctuations downstream, especially during floods. Drainage as a result of large-scale forestry since 1960 has lowered water levels upstream of a vast number of lakes. The loss of open water areas is the main concern for managers of many bird wetland lakes. Open water areas in vegetated areas are important features of the bird wetlands and necessary for the sites to remain a suitable nesting and feeding habitat.


The Hydrology LIFE project aims to:

  • Improve the quality of peatland habitats listed in Annex I of the Habitats Directive, by restoring peatlands and small water (headwater) systems in 103 Natura 2000 network sites;
  • Improve water quality and flood control by filling in ditches and removing trees on peatlands, raising the water table on lakes, and restoring streams;
  • Improve the quality of bird wetland habitats by increasing mosaic structure, with more open areas suitable for nesting and feeding; and
  • Increase the awareness of wetlands and the Natura 2000 network by disseminating information through diverse media and by developing cooperation between restoration activities and forestry ditch network maintenance.
  • Expected results:

  • Restoration plans (87) elaborated for 5 345 ha within 87 Natura 2000 network sites;
  • Supplementary species inventories at 55 sites (500 ha), supplementary biotope inventories at 24 sites (2 214 ha), inventories for 13 streams, and cultural heritage inventories at five sites (5 ha);
  • Five pilot sites and radar data used in ditch network maintenance for improving water quality in the catchment areas of Natura 2000 network sites;
  • Preparatory training in bird wetland and stream restoration for nature conservation officers, and 10 training sessions for forestry planners and landowners on water management for improving Natura 2000 sites;
  • 161 ha of new nature conservation areas at two sites;
  • Peatland restored at 95 sites (5 239 ha), including in commercial forests (246 ha);
  • Five volunteer camps organised;
  • Trees removed from 1 321.5 ha to enable peatland restoration;
  • Streams restored at 15 sites (34 km), water table on lakes raised at 14 sites (479 ha);
  • Dredging done in four bird lakes increasing mosaic structure on 21 ha;
  • Improved guidelines for peatland restoration and utilisation of new monitoring methods;
  • Reports on water quality and vegetation 10-15 years after restoration, on effects of peatland restoration on protected bats, on bird lake restoration monitoring, and on socio-economic impacts and ecosystem functions after restoration;
  • Training for journalists on wetland issues; and
  • ‘Wetland venture learning’ concept produced for nature centres.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Freshwater
Habitats - Forests
Habitats - Bogs and Mires


wetland‚  nature conservation‚  voluntary work‚  management plan‚  restoration measure‚  flood control‚  monitoring

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • COM(95) 189 - "Communication on the judicious use and conservation of wetlands" (12.12.1995)

Target Habitat types

  • 7110 - Active raised bogs
  • 7140 - Transition mires and quaking bogs
  • 7160 - Fennoscandian mineral-rich springs and springfens
  • 7230 - Alkaline fens
  • 7310 - Aapa mires
  • 9050 - Fennoscandian herb-rich forests with Picea abies
  • 9110 - Luzulo-Fagetum beech forests
  • 91D0 - Bog woodland
  • 3160 - Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds
  • 3210 - Fennoscandian natural rivers
  • 3260 - Water courses of plain to montane levels with the Ranunculion fluitantis and Callitricho-Batrachion vegetation

Natura 2000 sites

SPA FI0600052 Riistaveden lintujärvet
SPA FI0700003 Päätyeenlahti
SPA FI1001014 Heikinjärvenneva
SCI FI1101405 Rimpijärvi-Uusijärvi
SCI FI1101645 Oulanka
SCI FI1103816 Sammalharju
SCI FI1103829 Olvassuo
SCI FI1104402 Kansanneva-Kurkineva-Muurainsuo
SCI FI0100022 Finnträskin vanhat metsät
SCI FI0100040 Nuuksio
SCI FI0100056 Kalkkilammi-Sääksjärvi
SCI FI0100066 Sipoonkorpi
SCI FI0200003 Stormossen
SCI FI0200009 Lastensuo
SCI FI0200010 Hyyppärän harjualue
SCI FI0200014 Rimpisuo-Siikelisuo
SCI FI0200018 Mankaneva
SCI FI0200021 Haapakeidas
SCI FI0200024 Hämeenkangas
SCI FI0200078 Pinkjärvi
SCI FI0200084 Kurjenrahka
SCI FI0200086 Teijon ylänkö
SCI FI0200109 Maisaarensuo
SCI FI0200163 Porsmusan suo
SCI FI0311002 Seitseminen
SCI FI0336004 Häädetkeidas
SCI FI0336006 Puurokeidas-Hannankeidas
SCI FI0341003 Helvetinjärvi
SCI FI0341008 Siikaneva
SCI FI0355007 Närhineva-Koroluoma
SCI FI0401005 Enäsuo
SCI FI0416001 Valkmusa
SCI FI0500074 Savonsuo
SCI FI0600010 Vaikkojoki, Vaikon vanhat metsät ja Aitalamminsuo
SCI FI0600013 Laakajärven metsät ja suot sekä Suurisuo
SCI FI0600014 Vahtisuo ja lähistön vanhat metsät
SCI FI0600015 Keurunmäki-Haavikkolehto
SCI FI0600018 Saarisuo-Kurkisuo
SCI FI0600022 Rahkasuo
SCI FI0600024 Valkeiskylän ja Ventojoen metsät
SCI FI0600026 Matalasuo-Hyvärilänsuo
SCI FI0600034 Löytynsuon-Maamonsuon alue
SCI FI0600071 Tiilikan alue
SCI FI0600072 Kuikkasuo ja Suurisuo
SCI FI0600076 Pisa-Kypäräinen
SCI FI0600079 Ruohosuo
SCI FI0700012 Polvelan luontokokonaisuus
SCI FI0700045 Ruunaa
SCI FI0700046 Mujejärvi
SCI FI0700056 Ukonsärkän alueen vanhat metsät
SCI FI0700068 Paistinvaaran alueen vanhat metsät
SCI FI0700071 Partiissuo
SCI FI0800001 Lauhanvuori
SCI FI0800002 Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas (SPA)
SCI FI0800015 Varisneva
SCI FI0800087 Peränevanholma
SCI FI0900002 Oksalan Isosuo - Miehinkäisensuo
SCI FI0900008 Sallistensuo
SCI FI0900019 Kälkäsuo-Lehmusuo
SCI FI0900041 Keskisenlampi-Riionlampi
SCI FI0900057 Seläntauksen suot
SCI FI0900061 Varisvuori-Louhukangas-Saukonlähde
SCI FI0900069 Pyhä-Häkin alue
SCI FI0900073 Valkeisenjärvi-Särkilampi-Utusuo
SCI FI0900074 Haapasuo-Syysniemi-Rutajärvi-Kivijärvi
SCI FI0900077 Onkisalo-Herjaanselkä
SCI FI0900087 Pohjoisjärven metsä
SCI FI0900093 Haukisuo-Härkäsuo-Kukkoneva
SCI FI0900109 Vesilahdensuo-Kurkisuo
SCI FI0900123 Pihlajavesi ja yläjuoksun pienvedet
SCI FI0900126 Kärppäjärven alue
SCI FI1001001 Pilvineva
SCI FI1001004 Kivinevan alue
SCI FI1001005 Lestijoen yläjuoksu ja Paukaneva
SCI FI1001012 Linjasalmenneva
SCI FI1001013 Salamajärvi
SCI FI1002001 Tervaneva-Sivakkaneva-Pitkäkangas
SCI FI1002013 Pesäneva
SCI FI1101002 Veneneva-Pelso
SCI FI1102000 Loukkuneva-Isoneva
SCI FI1104404 Kinkerisaarenneva
SCI FI1105406 Metsäkylä
SCI FI1200052 Tulisuon - Varpusuon alue
SCI FI1200216 Isosuo - Koirasuo ympäristöineen
SCI FI1200221 Teerisuon - Lososuon alue
SCI FI1200223 Jonkerinsalon alue
SCI FI1200300 Kivesvaaran ja Keräsenvaaran lehdot ja letot
SCI FI1200721 Sydänmaanaro
SCI FI1200805 Sarvisuo - Jerusaleminsuo
SCI FI1301316 Herankaira
SCI FI1301507 Sieriäisten harjulammet
SCI FI1301706 Viiankiaapa
SCI FI0700043 Koitajoen alue
SCI FI0900031 Peuralamminneva
SCI FI1300907 Kemihaaran suot
SCI FI0600110 Pitkäsuo - Särkäntakanen
SCI FI0700094 Jorhonkorpi
SCI FI0700139 Suolamminvaara-Tervasuo
SCI FI0800003 Kauhaneva - Pohjankangas (SCI)
SCI FI1105401 Lauttasuo



Coordinator Metshallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland
Type of organisation Park-Reserve authority
Description Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland (MHPWF) is a public authority responsible for managing most of the state-owned areas in Finland (over 7 million ha), including protected areas and national hiking areas. This involves the protection of habitats and species in protected areas (terrestrial, freshwater and marine), through inventories, restoration and management activities, and their subsequent monitoring.
Partners Suomen metsäkeskus, Finland Jyvaskylan yliopisto, Finland North Savo Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Finland Tapio Oy, Finland UO(University of Oulu), Finland Luonnonvarakeskus (Natural Resources Institute Finland), Finland Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd, Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Central Finland, Finland University of Turku, Finland


Project reference LIFE16 NAT/FI/000583
Duration 01-AUG-2017 to 31-DEC -2023
Total budget 8,874,132.00 €
EU contribution 5,324,481.00 €
Project location Uusimaa(Finland Suomi) Varsinais-Suomi(Finland Suomi) Satakunta(Finland Suomi) Häme(Finland Suomi) Pirkanmaa(Finland Suomi) Päijät-Häme(Finland Suomi) Kymenlaakso(Finland Suomi) Etelä-Karjala(Finland Suomi) Etelä-Savo(Finland Suomi) Pohjois-Savo(Finland Suomi) Pohjois-Karjala(Finland Suomi) Kainuu(Finland Suomi) Keski-Suomi(Finland Suomi) Etelä-Pohjanmaa(Finland Suomi) Vaasan rannikkoseutu(Finland Suomi) Keski-Pohjanmaa(Finland Suomi) Pohjois-Pohjanmaa(Finland Suomi) Lappi(Finland Suomi) Ahvenanmaa/Åland(Finland Suomi) Baltic Sea Suomi (SF)(Finland Suomi)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Video link Restoring the valuble wetlands in Finlanf: Hydrology LIFE 2017-2023 [EN - 2'47] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN527h2h7mY
Video link "Restoring the valuble wetlands in Finland: Hydrology LIFE 2017-2023" [EN - 3'06]


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version