Vuosaari hill is a special, man-made environment that imitates the natural environment. When the construction work was completed, the land was bare, and that is why vegetation is at an early stage of development here.
The nature of Vuosaari hill evolves over time and it is interesting to watch it change!
Saving meadow species
There are few meadows and pastures in Helsinki, like elsewhere in Finland. Even the last of them are disappearing after the end of traditional agriculture. Nowadays, machines do the mowing and pastures have turned into forests since the cows disappeared.
At Vuosaari hill, the meadow landscape has been created to replace habitats destroyed elsewhere. Vuosaari hill is Helsinki’s largest and most significant meadow area. Meadow plants and insects have been given a new home here.
From bare land to a rich oasis
At first, wasteland plants grew on the bare land of Vuosaari hill. In a few years, a flourishing meadow developed. Later, most of the meadows became less diverse.
Not all areas can be mown because of their steepness. Among the untended tall hay, only competitive flowers can survive. The splendour of flowers is best preserved in regularly managed meadows, which are enjoyed by many insects.
Vuosaari hill has provided birds with fine nesting places or a stopover during their migration. Snakes have slithered to Vuosaari hill from the vicinity, attracted by good predation opportunities.
A meadow does not stay open by itself
In the Finnish climate, a meadow will turn into a closed, young broadleaf forest in a few decades. Maintaining an open landscape and meadow always requires care.
Parts of Vuosaari hill have been mown annually and trees have been cleared regularly. Natural plants and junipers have been extensively planted for several decades. Indeed, the nature of Vuosaari hill is a peculiar blend of man-made and nature-created.
Maintaining the landscape of Vuosaari hill will require long-term care in the future as well.