The long and narrow Vantaanjoki riverbank (Vantaanjoentörmä) is the latest area to be protected, having been granted protection status on 14 December 2012. The area is characterised by its rich and mostly well-preserved groves and the most impressive meadows in Helsinki.
The plant life in the groves includes rare, endangered and vulnerable species, such as the alternate-leaved golden saxifrage (Chrysosplenium alternifolium), dog’s mercury (Mercurialis perennis), baneberry (Actaea spicata), wonder violet (Viola mirabilis) and moschatel (Adoxa moschatellina). Bird species that can be spotted here include the common sandpiper, red-backed shrike, wryneck, common rosefinch, hawfinch and lesser spotted woodpecker.
The otter and thick shelled river mussel in the river are protected by the Habitats Directive. The protected area is also important for other life forms, including certain mushrooms and bats. The significance of the Vantaanjoki riverbank as a nature reserve is further enhanced by the area’s natural state and biodiversity, as well as by the representativeness of the plant life. The size of the protected area and proximity to other large natural areas make it a significant addition to Helsinki’s green areas.