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Pre-Congress tours

I Baltic Peatlands pre-tour in Lithuania-Latvia-Estonia

Date: TBC
Price: TBC

The number of participants is limited to 25 people. Pre-registration (deadline TBC) is required during the online-registration for the whole Congress.

The I Pre-Congress tour is supported by:

Pre-Congress Tour route (TBC)

During the tour we will visit pristine mires and wetland complexes, peat extraction as well as peatland restoration and reclamation areas while driving through the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The tour will provide insight into different mire types in the Baltic states. Special attention will be given to the restoration efforts aiming to achieve favourable conservation status of different mire habitats.

In Lithuania, the participants will be shown various restoration projects at Ramsar sites. First, the unique mires in the Nemunas Delta will be visited. Restoration using Sphagnum farming approach in the Aukštumala peatland will be presented, followed by an enjoyable Klasmann-Deilmann Šilutė’s train ride to the pristine part of the bog.

Also, the Tyrai coastal fen, which is the most important vulnerable Aquatic Warbler breeding site in Lithuania will be explored.

On the way to Latvia, a glimpse to a typical raised bog of Kamanos Strict Nature Reserve inhabited by golden plovers is caught. Kamanos is the largest raised bog in northern Lithuania region with ridge-pool complexes and numerous small lakes surrounded by wet forests.

In Latvia, one of the largest peat harvesting companies in the country, Laflora Ltd. that is known for its responsible peatland management, is visited. Different reclamation efforts will be demonstrated in former peat extraction fields – from berry growing and afforestation to paludiculture and apiculture (bees, bumblebees) cultivation. Afterwards, the effect of peatlands on climate change will be discussed by the scientists of the Latvian State Forest Research Institute Silava and the measurements of greenhouse gas emissions will be demonstrated. The well-preserved mire of Cenas tīrelis will be explored by hiking with bog shoes. 

The tour will end in Estonia where the pearl of the preserved natural wetland complex – Soomaa National Park is visited. “Soomaa” means the land of mires in Estonian and the National Park has been established for the protection of large bogs, flooded meadows, forests and cultural heritage in the south-western part of Central Estonia.

We will walk along the Ingatsi nature trail through a floodplain forest, followed by exploring the Kuresoo restoration area, which is the first holistic restoration project of degraded bog communities in Estonia.

On the way to Tallinn, a species-rich alkaline fen will be visited in mid-western Estonia.

Contact: Kaia Lehtsaar, Publicon PCO,

Leaders: Nerijus Zableckis (Lithuanian Fund for Nature), Jūratė Sendžikaitė (Lithuanian Fund for Nature, Nature Research Centre), Anda Zālmane (Latvian Peat Association), Ingrīda Krīgere (Latvian Peat Association, IPS), Jüri-Ott Salm & Eerik Leibak (Estonian Fund for Nature)

II IPS pre-tour in Finland

Date: TBC
Price: TBC

There number of participants is limited to 30 people. Pre-registration (deadline TBC) is requested during the online registration for the whole Congress.

The II Pre-Tour is supported by:

Day 1 (TBC)

The pre-tour leaves from the tourist bus stop at Railway Square (Rautatientori 1) in Helsinki at 10.00 guided by Mr. Hannu Salo. The charter bus drives then to Helsinki – Vantaa Airport to collect the rest of the pre-tour participants, who should all be gathering by 10.45 at the meeting point joining the Airport terminals 1 and 2, where they would be guided by Dr. Tuula Larmola to the charter bus waiting outside of the terminal 2 building. After a 2 hour bus ride from the Airport towards northeast we reach Häme Nature Center & Eerikkilä Sports Resort for lunch and short introduction.

After the lunch break Dr. Kristina Regina from Natural Resources Institute welcomes the participants at Kuuma village at Jokioinen municipality, where two field experiments on cultivation methods to mitigate greenhouse gas emission from organic soils are introduced: a site growing willow, bilberry and forage in paludiculture (water management using controlled drainage) and another one for cereals with four different soil cover options ranging from conventional tillage to no-till with catch crop. Please, take you water proof footwear ready to take full advantage of this interesting field visit!

The beauty and tranquillity of Torronsuo National Park, the most extensive protected mire complex of southwestern Finland, is waiting for us in the early evening. We get a substantial snack at Kiljamo path and bird watching tower before introduction to the park and walking on the trails. The Geological Survey of Finland GTK is demonstrating peatland surveying and inventory.

The first day ends at the peaceful Eräkeskus Lodge for overnight with self-catering tea and sandwiches.

Day 2 (TBC)

The second pre-tour day starts on early breakfast at Eräkeskus cafeteria to be ready at 9.00 sharp  for leaving to Lettosuo experimental area with Dr Sakari Sarkkola from Natural Resources Institute as our main guide. At the site we get introduction to drained peatland forest management practices, GHG measurements, ICOS meteorological network and SOMPA project. There is much to see and a lot information to digest before noon and about one hour bus journey eastwards. The lunch is enjoyed at ”Turengin Wanha Asema”,  Turenki Old Railway Station, the oldest wooden railway building dating back to 1862.

After a substantial lunch we visit Paroninkorpi foresty demonstration site owned by UPM company for about one hour before continuing northbound. Time allowing we may have a short stop at scenic Vehoniemi between two large lakes.

The evening is spent at Hyytiälä, Helsinki University Forestry Field Station including a barbeque dinner and possibilities to bathe in two lake side saunas. Accommodation and a voluntary short walk to Makkarakallio towards midnight sun.

Day 3 (TBC)

The last morning of the pre-tour takes us early to famous Lakkasuo mire, where various sitetypes of natural peatlands can be seen along the duck boards. Professor Harri Vasander and his colleagues guide us through the rich variety of mire habitats, and you can study them also from a book delivered in the material package.

By noon we have to hit the road again towards south. After a quick lunch at Riihimäki we get an introduction on after-use of peat extraction site at Sammalistonsuo wetland, where water-fowl hunting and bird watching go hand in hand with still on-going peat extraction. The pre-tour ends by 17.00 hours in Helsinki with stops at Central Railway Station and ferry terminals at West Harbour & Katajanokka, where you can continue to Tallinn / IPC 2020 either on Saturday evening or spend a day in Helsinki and take a two-hour voyage over the Gulf of Finland on Sunday the 14th of June.

Contact: Hannu Salo, Finnish Peatland Society – Suoseura,

Leaders: Tapio Lindholm (Finnish Environment Institute SYKE), Harri Vasander (University of Helsinki), Raisa Mäkipää (Natural Resources Institute Finland LUKE), Tuula Larmola (Finnish Peatland Society), Hannu Salo (The Bioenergy Association of Finland)