Forests of Varying Ages, Beautiful Shorelines and Valuable Mires
Liesjärvi National Park is located on the Tammela upland. The National Park and its surrounding area have always been sparsely populated backwoods. When the last continental glacier melted the upland remained above the flowing waters which resulted from it. The water washed away the finest materials and they ended up at the bottom of the ocean, which is now the fertile clay-based area surrounding Tammela. Because of its barren moraine-based earth, the Tammela upland remained an outlying backwoods in the middle of densely populated farmlands.
Liesjärvi National Park is for the most part covered by dense forests and small tree covered mires. Almost half of the forests are fresh spruce forests. Natural cowberry and blueberry heaths are characteristic of the area. There are also spruce mires, ridges, shores and beautiful lake landscape within the National Park. There are about 50 km of shoreline in the park. The best known natural sight in Liesjärvi National Park is the low sandy shored Kyynäränharju Ridge, which separates Lake Kyynärä and Lake Liesjärvi from one another.
Although the upland is more wilderness-like than the farmlands surrounding it, the existense of man can clearly been seen there. The age of the area's forests varies greatly. A large part of the area was used for commercial forestry up until the National Park was established there so there are many young and middle-aged forests. A significant part of the area's forests however are over 100 years old. The forests which are closest to there natural state are those in Ahonnokka and Isosaari old-growth forest reserves, which have been conserved from the 1920s onward.
In 2005 the land area of the National Park was increased to more than double what it used to be. Valuable natural sites added to the area are the former mire reserves Tartalamminsuo and Tervalamminsuo. They are small raised bogs, where many threatened insects live and the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nests. There are also valuable old-growth forests in the areas added to the National Park.
Back to a natural state
Cornflowers and rye ears stand for Liesjärvi
Rye illustrates the agriculture that originated with the old slash-and-burn culture. The cornflower is a beautiful rye weed. It requires old-fashioned drying and threshing to survive and spread its seeds among the rye.
Life in the hole-nesting trees of Liesjärvi
The bird population in Liesjärvi National Park is typical of coniferous forests. The abundance of old forests and decaying trees is obvious as there are many hole-nesters present in the area. Old-growth forests and shoreline forests are favoured by woodpeckers. The Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) and the Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) as well as the Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus), the Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus) and the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor) nest in the National Park's forests.
The Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), the Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus), the Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata), the Robin (Erithacus rubecula) and the Redwing (Turdus iliacus) are the most common birds in the National Park. The Nubian Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus), the Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina), the Blackcap (Sylvia attricapilla), the Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus) and the Coal Tit (Parus ater) also nest in the area. There are six species of hawks nesting in the area. The Black-throated Diver (Gavia arctica) is the lord of lake backs where its cry can be heard. The Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) and the Swan nest in sheltered bays.
Life in Liesjärvi Forests
The forests in Liesjärvi are full of life. Along with various bird species the animal species which are easiest to glimpse are the moose (Alces alces) and the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). At twilight the badger (Meles meles) sets off in search of food.
The rare flying squirrel (Pteromys volans) is also an inhabitant of Liesjärvi National Park. The large hole-nesting aspens along shorelines are perfect places for them to live. Only few are lucky enough to see this timid animal of the old-growth forest, but observant nature lovers will find signs of its existence, such as yellow dropping below aspens they live in and tooth marks on aspen leaves.