17.06.2009 - RMK opened nature centre in centuries-old fortress by River Emajõgi 17.06

Today, in Tartu County, the State Forest Management Centre (RMK) opened the Emajõe-Suursoo nature centre established into the fortress dating back to the 14th century, which introduces different aspects of nature education to everyone who is interested.

According to Eerika Purgel, Recreation Planning Specialist of RMK, it is historically a very much appreciated building, which bore the name of Uus-Kastre fortress established in the 14th century for the protection of Tartu Bishopric. “The fortress later became a popular place of assembly and is known by locals as Kantsi tavern now as well," said Eerika Purgel and added that until the year 2004, the building operated as the administrative building of the Emajõe-Suursoo Landscape Reserve; today, it is under heritage conservation and remains on the valuable Natura 2000 preselection area of the Emajõe-Suursoo Landscape Reserve.

The former Kantsi tavern is a very important building for the nature lovers who visit the River Emajõgi as it is now actively engaged in the promotion of nature education. For example, the recently opened nature centre accommodates an interesting exhibition introducing the geological history and natural values of Estonia and Northern Finland. The exhibition displayed by the non-profit association MTÜ Geoguide Baltoscandia will remain open until the end of the year. At the nature centre, an information point will also be open until 15 September, awaiting visitors daily from 10 am to 6 pm.

RMK offers hiking opportunities in 13 recreational areas, 5 national parks and almost 40 other reserves. In total, RMK maintains more than 2000 km of hiking trails, 41 camping sites and 499 fire grounds. It is possible to stop at 15 forest houses or 26 forest huts. RMK offers nature education activities at 17 nature centres, 5 nature houses and Sagadi Nature School. As of 1 July 2008, the Elistvere Animal Park also belongs to RMK. In 2008, the state forest was visited 790 000 times with the aim of nature recreation.

RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at sustainable and efficient management of the state forest. In addition to this, RMK creates possibilities for forest holidays and shapes nature awareness. RMK manages 38% of the Estonian forests.

Additional information:
Eerika Purgel
Recreation Planning Specialist of RMK
Telephone +372 506 7248