Natural Features of Meiko
Meiko is an extensive area with unusually valuable nature that has remained largely in its wild state. It is located in the middle of Western Uusimaa, which has an intensive history of land use. The forested highlands have clear lakes and ponds.
Meiko is located in the border area of the hemiboreal and southern boreal vegetation zones. Nature varies from barren rocky pine forests to lush hardwood groves. Rocky pines and small mires form a mosaic-like pattern of vegetation. A significant proportion of the heath and rocky forests are in their natural state.
There are also two relatively large mires in the area, Slätmossen and Grenomossen, as well as old-growth forests. Due to their natural state, the lakes and ponds are valuable.
The area also has significant natural landscapes. Especially the steep shoreline rocks of Mustjärvi Lake form a beautiful landscape.
The Meiko area is a mosaic formed by rocky hills and depressions between them. The North-to-East fissure valley divides the area into two areas of rocky hills, the northernmost of which is called the Dorgarn Rocky Highlands. In the eastern part, its boundary is marked by the North-to-South fissure valley, where e.g. Nydalsviken Bay and Mustjärvi Lake are located.
The depressions between rocky hills contain lakes, ponds or mires. The numerous rocky slopes give their own look to the Meiko area. The rocks on the edges of both fissure valley and on the southern and eastern shores of Lake Meiko are particularly majestic.
The area is important in terms of bird life. As the terrain is mainly barren, the sizes of bird populations are not particularly high, but the species are diverse.
The black-throated diver nests in Lake Meiko, and numerous smaller ponds offer nesting places especially for different ducks species.
The presence of forest birds, such as woodfowl, owls, hawks and woodpeckers, is a good demonstration of the significance of this extensive area in its wild state. The near-threatened European nightjar and woodlark also nest on Meiko’s open rocks. The area's woodpecker population is exceptionally dense.
Mammals in Meiko include flying squirrels, otters and sometimes lynxes. There is a large pine marten population in the area.
Meiko is a nationally significant area for the conservation of southern tree fungi species, especially pine-dependent tree and corticioid fungi species. Currently no other forest area is known of in Uusimaa or the hemiboreal zone where pine species would be as representative as in Meiko. The area also plays a significant role in the protection of demanding endangered species that are dependent on dead spruce.