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Nature excursions. Cover of the publication.

Cities take residents to free excursions in nature

Residents of the Helsinki metropolitan area are pampered in 2017 with 142 free excursions in nature. These excursions are listed in the newly published metropolitan nature excursion calendar 2017. The excursions begin with migratory bird watching in April and end in November with observation of trout laying eggs in urban brooks and with a short-daylight excursion. Excursions taken with others reward participants with fine memories and a great deal of information about nature to be utilized later on other outings. Guided excursions in nature have been organized in the Helsinki metropolitan area for more than 30 years.

Excursions organized during the centenary year of Finland’s independence take participants widely around the metropolitan area, which is enriched with unbelievably diverse and magnificent nature. The urban palette includes splendid cultural and natural scenery. Most of the destinations have rich flora and fauna, and the scenery is associated with exciting stories.

For many, nature excursions are some of the best leisure activity from spring to late autumn. Being active in nature is good for the mind and the body. Excursions and park walks help people who have recently moved to the metropolitan area to adjust to their new place of residence.

Nature Days celebrate Finnish nature

Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen and Vantaa join the events of three national Nature Days. You can Go Wild With Spring on 20 May, for example, by joining a wild foods excursion. You can Fall in Love With Summer Night on 17 June by sleeping outdoors, and you can celebrate Finnish nature on 28 August as Finnish flags are flown at full-mast by joining a bat excursion in Espoo or a trek in Vantaa’s Sipoonkorpi or by picnicking on the Harakka Island in Helsinki.

Nature information in brochures, in books and on the Internet

The City of Helsinki has produced a series of brochures, entitled Helsingin luontoon!, that presents the city’s nature to readers. A book to be released in April, entitled Lumoava Helsinki, presents 200 exiting destinations, nature reserves, natural monuments, geological sites and historical destinations as well as parks in Helsinki. 

Thirty Helsinki park walks are presented in English as well as in Finnish and Swedish on the Green Hearts, Park Walks in Helsinki website. 

Nature excursion calendar distributed at customer service counters and city libraries

A total of 23,000 copies of the nature excursion calendar are now available at Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen and Vantaa customer service counters and nature centres, at the Virka-info customer service (Helsinki City Hall, Pohjoisesplanadi 11–13) and on the Internet. City libraries will carry copies from the beginning of April onwards.

The guided excursions are mostly held in Finnish, but some excursions are also in Swedish and one is in English. Park walks in Helsinki include some drama tours, on which participants meet with famous persons from history. Most of the excursions are free of charge, but charges apply to ferry rides. Registration is required for some special excursions, but otherwise excursions are free for everybody to join irrespective of city limits. Some excursions are accessible. Normal physical condition is enough to join.

Nature excursion calendar 2017 (PDF), mostly in Finnish with some Swedish and one excursion in English.

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