We mapped the biodiversity of our lands – what does it mean?

We aim to be a frontrunner in sustainable travel in Finland. As part of our sustainability work, we wanted to assess the state of nature on Hawkhill lands, along with any protection measures that would be needed. For this, we invited a group of experts from the MKN maisemapalvelut unit at ProAgria’s association in Southern Finland to conduct a landscape mapping, analysis of the nature in the area and, based on these, a biodiversity strategy. The mapping was done in August and September 2023, and it has equipped us with extensive knowledge regarding biodiversity on Hawkhill lands.

What does biodiversity strategy mean?

A biodiversity strategy aims at protecting natural capital on a company’s lands. In other words, natural capital refers here to all variety and variability of nature and natural habitat that are located on the land owned by the company. The strategy allows the company to explore immediate, concrete, verifiable and local actions that protect and nurture the local natural habitat.

With its own biodiversity strategy, a company can work on its own lands towards reaching biodiversity objectives such as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity objectives, with an aim to stop biodiversity loss.

In Finland and from the perspective of the Finnish nature, it is very important to protect the natural capital also outside of the nature preserve. In accordance with the Kunming-Montreal objectives, Finland aims to expand its nature preserve to 30 percent at land, inland water areas and the sea. Especially in Uusimaa, there is a lot of construction pressure on land use, which is why identifying new nature preserves is challenging. For that reason, protection measures taken on private lands, outside the protected areas, is very valuable.

One significant objective is to stop the spread of alien species. For example the large-leaved lupine, Lupinus polyphyllus, has been spread on private lands and state- or municipality-owned lands alike. Any work done to remove the species from private lands is meaningful and effective, because it tends to have more continuous growth on private rather than public lands.

Therefore, as we carry out our biodiversity strategy at Hawkhill, we are also doing our part in helping Finland achieve its national objectives!

Key content of Hawkhill’s biodiversity mapping

The experts based the biodiversity strategy on the history of the area’s nature. After assessing it, they walked carefully through all the lands owned by Hawkhill.

Five different terrain types were identified in the area:

  1. Forest parcel
  2. Protective zone between the field, planted forest and the border to the national park
  3. Field used as pasture and a farm track
  4. Bog
  5. Rocks

It was great to find out that according to the experts, the majority of these areas offer a good environment for birds and insects to thrive. The most insightful part of the mapping, however, were the expert recommendations on how we can best protect the natural capital in our areas.

Actions to protect biodiversity

The actions needed to protect and improve biodiversity can vastly differ between different terrain types. For example, sometimes it is best to do absolutely nothing and let the area stay as it is. Our regenerated bog, for instance, should now be left untouched and let the regeneration process continue naturally. Similarly, all deadwood within our forest parcel should be left to rot as per its natural process, and dense bush growth should not be cleared.

The most important action highlighted in the biodiversity mapping is removing alien species, and on Hawkhill lands, this means above all the large-leaved lupine. We have already been working to remove lupines, however in the future, we will act on this with replenished determination, also encouraging our guests as well as other land owners in the area to take part. Removing alien species is always a shared initiative that also requires consistent determination!

Because our field is a rare phenomenon in Nuuksio and part of the cultural landscape, we are keeping it cleared. We will work towards reducing overfertilising that is a legacy from when the field was in modern use, allowing it to return closer to its natural state, which eventually would be a Finnish meadow.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect we discovered in the biodiversity mapping was the significance of our rocks. They are the most sensitive area on our lands. The soil is very thin on them, which means that the key protective measure is to encourage everyone to stay on paths and not walk elsewhere, in order to ensure that the valuable flora growing on our rocks will remain undisturbed.

Let’s protect biodiversity together!

Besides encouraging everyone to join us in removing alien species, we also intend on taking many other actions based on the biodiversity mapping. We will write about this later on.

As a tourism business, it is also a strength for us that we now have much in-depth knowledge of our lands. We are able to provide our guests even more insightful experiences in nature and share our insight in protecting the invaluable natural capital.