Orienteering World Cup round 1 takes place in the scenic Nuuksio Lake Highlands, and a large part of the competition area locates within the boundaries of the Nuuksio National Park, founded in 1994, with an area of 55km2.
Nuuksio National Park is a green oasis in the Helsinki capital region. The landscape is dominated by valleys and gorges formed by the Ice Age, and barren rocky hills covered by lichen and sparse pine forest. At some places the hills reach the height of 110 metres above the sea level. The rocks descend vertically or step by step to damp gorges, which are dominated by moist forests, and spruce and pine mires. Under the water seeping cliffs, the dense spruce forests are cool, damp and dim. There are over 80 little lakes and ponds inside Nuuksio National Park.
The emblem species of the Nuuksio National Parks is Flying Squirrel – the population in Nuuksio is one of the densest Flying Squirrel populations found in Finland. There are almost 200 places, where they live in the park. It mostly moves about by gliding from trees, using a flap of loose skin that connects its back and front limbs. It can glide up to 75 metres.
National parks are extensive areas with the main objective of ensuring natural values and giving people the opportunity to relax and enjoy nature. The Nuuksio National Park, like many of Finland’s 40 national parks, is the iconic landmark in our country, and in terms of visitor numbers it is the second most popular National Park with 343 700 visitors during 2018.
Orienteers can also enjoy on their own way Nuuksio and other spectacular national parks – when we do it responsibly. I am very pleased that orienteering event organizer, Helsingin
Suunnistajat, has taken the natural values carefully into account in good cooperation with the National Park management, Metsähallitus, Parks and Wildlife Finland. In practice, this means that the controls are not placed in sensitive nature areas, and the courses are planned so that they bypass the habitats of wilderness species, such as capercaillie, that need peace for nesting. The competition’s traffic arrangements and the location of the competition center are also exemplary solutions that take into account nature values and other hikers in the area.
On behalf of the Nuuksio National Park, I wish all organizers, competitors and spectators a great orienteering event in Nuuksio National Park!
National Park Director
Parks and Wildlife Finland / Metsähallitus