Yl¯kuva: Ymp¯rist¶keskus, alakuva: Stig Baumgartner
Kuva: Arto Nironen / Ymp¯rist¶keskus
Kuva: Antero Aaltonen
Karttapohja: Kaupunkimittausosasto, Helsinki 2002


Current situation

The Central Park contains approximately 700 hectares of forest areas. The forests are predominantly old-growth forests with most stands dominated by spruce, but deciduous trees, particularly aspen, are common in Maunula and Haltiala.

Special natural features
  • Groves along the Vantaanjoki River
  • Haltiala primeval forest
  • Stands of aspen and larch in Haltiala
  • Ash and hazel groves in Maunula
  • Abundant display of wood anemone in spring in different parts of the Central Park
  • Forests edging open areas

Nature protection areas

  • Pitkäkoski hillside grove: hillside grove shaded by sturdy spruce trees along the bed of the Vantaanjoki River
  • Haltiala primeval forest area: old, mainly spruce forest enjoyed by, among others, woodpeckers
  • Niskala arboretum: arboretum with a few dozens of different wood species as well as subspecies and varieties
  • Ruutinkoski grove area: riverside grove near rapids and shrub meadows along the quiet waters of the Vantaanjoki River
  • Other esteemed nature destinations include, among others, the Maunula hazel groves (protected nature type as per the Nature Conservation Act) and protected natural monuments (fluttering elm group at Ruutinkoski and Kuninkaantammi at Pitkäkoski)
  • Further information: Helsinki Nature Information System

Nature management

The Central Park is being continuously developed as a forested recreational area that provides city dwellers with daily opportunities for outdoor exercise and enhances their appreciation of the natural environment. The forests in the park are managed to preserve biodiversity in the face of environmental stress and intensive recreational use.

Helsinki’s forests are maintained to preserve many ecological – natural, landscape and recreational – values. For example, the nesting places of birds and mammals are left undisturbed during logging. The city has a set of clearly defined and diverse management objectives, including the conservation of biodiversity in forests.

The Central Park is taken care of according to a long-term nature management plan, jointly prepared by the authorities and local residents, that takes into consideration landscape and environmental values, recreational use, and wishes of the park’s users.

A new nature management plan is in the making. The Environment Centre prepares the management and use plans for nature conservation areas. The areas are cared for by the Public Works Department.

Restoration of the Haltiala wilderness

The purpose of the restoration of the Haltiala wilderness is to restore the natural species composition in the forest, the natural structure of the environment as well as nature’s own development. The aim is to diversify the age distribution of trees so that the forest has trees of all ages, including very old specimens. They are an important source of protection and nutrition for many species. The aim is also to add wood species, especially broad-leaved trees. In addition, efforts are made to restore the natural water balance by damming trenches. This also enables the thickening of the peat moss layer.