Bog habitat restoration reached nature conservation development plan goals 25.02

RMK and partners restored over 500 hectares of semi-natural habitats and close to 6000 hectares of bog habitats in the past year. The most known, more than 1000 hectare bog was restored in the Tolkuse bog in Pärnu County.

Over the course of five years, more than 15,000 hectares of endangered habitats have been restored under the lead of RMK, 3300 hectares of which are semi-natural habitats and more than 12,200 hectares are bog habitats.

“The past year has been significant in regards to nature conservation because several big long-term restoration works were finished,” said Head of the Nature Conservation Department of RMK Kaupo Kohv. He added that he was happy that the goal of the nature conservation development plan for 2020 to restore 10,000 hectares of bog habitats was passed by a considerable margin.

According to Kohv, extensive bog habitat restorations were completed last year in Tolkuse bog (1022 ha) in the Luitemaa nature reserve in Pärnu County, where the results can also be seen when walking on the hiking trail. In Maima, Pärnu County, we managed to test the sowing of peat moss constituents for the first time in Estonia. Additionally, bog restoration work that had taken several years was completed in Lääne-Viru County, where in cooperation with the LIFE Programme “Conservation and Restoration of Mire Habitats” the Laukasoo bog in the Lahemaa National park, the Ohepalu bog in the Ohepalu nature reserve, the Sirtsi bog in the Sirtsi nature reserve and the Tudusoo bog in the Tudusoo nature reserve were restored (4081 hectares total).

“A new and exciting experience was restoring the Keretü bog in the Nursipalu training area of the Estonian Defence Forces in Võru County in cooperation with the Centre for Defence Investment,” said Kaupo Kohv, recalling the most memorable moments from last year’s projects. “It also came as a surprise that the ditches closed during the restoration works in Soomaa National Park were used by locals as skate and sled tracks.”

Larger objects of the infrastructure for the management of semi-natural biotic communities were completed in the Matsalu National Park in Lääne County where two roads were reconstructed and nine new passes were constructed for the better management of meadows. A completely new road was constructed in the Kurese landscape protection area in Pärnu County to improve management conditions of alvars.

Nature conservation efforts are important because some species require environments untouched by human activity while others prefer semi-natural biotic communities that have developed as a result of long-term low-intensity human activity. By closing ditches in bogs, we help to restore primal bog ecosystems which form habitats for species that avoid humans, while restoring wooded meadows creates conditions for sustainable low-intensity agriculture which in turn creates conditions for the development of the most diverse biotic communities in Europe.

In 2020, nature conservation works cost a total of 4.13 million euros, 3.02 million of which was funded by the European Union Cohesion Fund. A list of nature conservation works conducted last year by county is available here.

RMK continues with nature conservation efforts this year as well: For example, restoration works will begin in the Puhatu marshlands and the Ess-soo bog in Võru County and restorations will be completed in the legendary Nigula raised bog and the Avaste swamp in Pärnu County. New activities include efforts to improve the state of watercourses which will see the removal of at least three large ruins of dams that obstruct the migration of fish on the salmonid rivers in Northern Estonia. The development of infrastructure for the maintenance of semi-natural communities will continue along with the restoration of semi-natural communities next year across the entirety of Estonia.

Further information:
Kaupo Kohv
Head of RMK’s Nature Protection Department
+372 5349 7924