LiFE IP ForEst&FarmLand
In 2020 LIFE IP project ForEst&FarmLand (“Comprehensive management of forest and farming landscapes to improve the conservation status of Natura 2000 habitats and species”) was launched, involving all key players from universities, forestry sector and nature conservation as well as NGOs to jointly protect and restore Estonian landscapes and ecosystems and to improve the condition of the species and habitats in Estonian forests and agricultural lands.
The project (2020-2029) is led by the Ministry of the Environment and the total cost of the project is € 19,561,784.
On 17 February 2022, the Environmental Board recognised outstanding managers of heritage meadows in the project LIFE-IP ForEst&FarmLand to thank those who have made a great contribution to the preservation and restoration of biodiverse heritage communities. Among the nominees was Erik Jakob Söderberg from Pakri Island, who tells his story in English.
The story of Erik Jakob Söderberg’s return to the island where his grandmother was born speaks for itself! Together with his friend, Urmas Sepp, and a herd of 300–400 head of cattle, Erik takes care of the most compact and largest alvar in Estonia, located on the Pakri Islands – a total of 1,098.73 hectares of land is being maintained, with restoration works also being performed.
Despite the showers and thunderstorms last week, nature conservation experts from the Environmental Board went to see the invasive species mapped this spring to assess their growth and population. We can now say that these sites have been fully overtaken by invasive species. For example, the tallest measured Japanese knotweed reached a height of four metres. In addition, native species often fail to grow under these expansive colonies.
This week, together with scientists from the Environmental Board and the University of Tartu, the managers of the semi-natural grasslands in Lahemaa assessed the biodiversity of their meadows, along with the ease or difficulty of mowing and grazing, and how the area being cared for and the natural values found there have changed over the years.