03.12.2008 - RMK to develop a new nature centre in Viljandi County 04.10

Over the next three years, the State Forest Management Centre (RMK) will invest MEEK 7 into the renovation of the former Aimla manor complex and the development of the nature centre in Viljandi County. In 2011, the renovation of the manor complex should be completed; nature study programmes have been organised at Aimla since this summer.

The purpose of the new nature centre is to introduce Estonian nature culture, traditional handicrafts and timber use methods, and promote the general environmental awareness of people. In order to develop the Aimla nature centre and Sakala recreation area, RMK will start cooperating with the Viljandi Culture Academy of the University of Tartu.

"The RMK Sakala recreation area and Aimla manor complex located in Viljandi County promise to develop into a valuable study and nature preservation environment and for the purposeful development of it, we are glad to cooperate with Viljandi Culture Academy,” said Marge Rammo, Head of the Nature Preservation Department of RMK.

Previously, these buildings hosted the Aimla forest district of RMK, but after the reorganisation of RMK in the summer, it was closed and the development of it into a nature centre was started. "Aimla manor was first mentioned in the 16th century, so it is very appropriate for introducing and spreading cultural heritage,” Marge Rammo added.

By the year 2011, the nature centre will have five parts with different purposes: the main building, workshop, household building, granary and a courtyard where various nature study programmes, events and exhibitions can be held. “In the rooms, environment-related children and youth camps can be organised and in the timber workshop, visitors can make wooden items,” Marge Rammo described the future options to be offered by the nature centre. According to her, interested people can obtain information from the nature centre about the birds and animals living in the Estonian forests, as well as learn about their movement and behaviour habits, eating habits and where and how they can be seen.

The cooperation output with Viljandi Culture Academy will be the organisation of educational activities in the field of Estonian nature culture, handicraft and timber use traditions and the in-service and retraining and study days regarding environmental awareness, and other educational activities of the field. As well as the valuation of the traditional construction environment in the RMK Sakala recreation area and cooperation in the organisation of scientific and development research.

RMK has established 13 different recreation areas comprising 720 km of hiking trails, 42 camping sites and 499 campfire sites in the state forest. It is possible to stop at 24 forest houses or forest huts. RMK offers nature education activities at 13 nature centres and the Sagadi Forest Centre. As of 1 July 2008, the Elistvere Animal Park is managed by RMK. In 2007, the state forest was visited for the purposes of forest recreation 820 000 times.

RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at sustainable and efficient management of the state forest. RMK grows reforestation materials, organises forestry works, is engaged in the sale of forest and timber and organises game upkeep. In addition, RMK establishes opportunities for hiking in nature and forest recreation on recreational areas, and shapes awareness of nature. RMK manages 38% of Estonia’s forests.

Additional information:
Marge Rammo
Head of the Nature Preservation Department of RMK
Telephone +372 676 7530, +372 513 7035
E-mail: marge.rammormk.ee

About Aimla manor in the Estonian manors portal: http://mois.ee/vilj/aimla.shtml