Bogs

As much as a third of Finland originally consisted of bogs and marshy woodlands, and it has even been suggested that the country's name in Finnish, Suomi, is derived from the Finnish word for bog - suo. Many place-names include the word suo or words for different kinds of marshes or bogs such as korpi - marshy spruce forest, neva - open bog, and räme - pine bog.

Hikers at Torronsuo National Park. Photo: Hanna Ylitalo

But during the 20th century many bogs and marshes were ditched to create farmland or make them produce more timber. Wherever bogs have survived unspoilt, they add variety to the landscape, and attract wildlife including exotic marshland birds and butterflies, as well as specialist wetland plants.

Extensive watery aapa mires are widely preserved across Northern Finland, while some of the biggest and best surviving bogs in the south can be visited in the national parks of Torronsuo near Helsinki, Kurjenrahka near Turku, Patvinsuo, and Valkmusa near Kotka.