RMK renewed almost 300 hectares of meadows and pastures this year 08.12

This year, RMK has renewed 270 hectares of semi-natural ecosystems in protected areas, so that they can again be used as meadow and pastures.

During renewal, trees and bushes were cut down, tree stumps and, if necessary, grass mounds were removed, uneven terrain flattened – this was all done to make it possible to use the area again for hay collection and grazing. The renewal of semi-natural ecosystems and subsequent hay collection and grazing is necessary to avoid the destruction of eco-diversity in these systems.

According to Head of Nature Conservation Küllike Kuusik, all of the renewed lands already have a tenant that will be responsible for managing the land.

Most of the works were carried out in Tartu and Viljandi Counties in Alam-Pedja Nature Reserve, as well as Lake Võrtsjärv Nature Reserve - a total of 180 hectares. A total of 68 hectares in Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and Osmusaar Islands had their original look restored. The biggest renewed areas are located in Saaremaa, in the Tahula-Reo Nature Reserve and in Loodenina. In Lääne County, a total of 20 hectares of meadows and pastures was restored.

“It was a good year for renewal, as the weather was mostly dry,” Küllike Kuusik said. For example, both Alam-Pedja and Võrtsjärv Nature Reserves are permanently overly humid and occasionally flooded meadows, which means that the renewal works largely depend on weather conditions. According to RMK Head of Nature Conservation Priit Voolaid, this is why they have sometimes had to stop work in Alam-Pedja, as the ground could not carry the weight of the machinery.
In both areas, thicket was cut down and tree stubs and grass mounds removed. “In the Võrtsjärv area, we could also take the cut trees out but the distances at Alam-Pedja were so big that it was not practical to do so, so we put all of the cut trees on the side of the area,” says Voolaid, describing this year’s work.

In addition to renewal works, RMK has also done some additional maintenance in Alam-Pedja and many other semi-natural ecosystems to create necessary conditions for subsequent maintenance. The growth of the thicket after cutting down and milling is particularly intensive and it has to be cut,” Voolaid explains.

In total, RMK has done subsequent maintenance on 350 hectares of land. The largest amount of work has been done in Saare County in Loode oak forest, Metsaküla meadow and Väljaküla in Laidevahe Nature Reserve, in Väinameri Nature Reserve on Vormsi Island and Käntu-Kastja Nature Reserve in Lääne County.

Since 2016, RMK has renewed a total of 3200 hectares of semi-natural ecosystems. There are more than 30,000 hectares of semi-natural ecosystems on RMK lands, the majority of which have been transferred to entrepreneurs for maintenance.

The State Forest Management Centre is the biggest nature conservation operator in Estonia.

Further information:
Küllike Kuusik
RMK Head of Nature Conservation
+372 503 8556