Metsähallitus encourages people to be physically active

Metsähallitus and its partners want to inspire people to become more outdoor-oriented and seek wellbeing from nature. The aim is to make people physically active and encourage them to spend more time in nature.

Cooperation projects in 2017

Moved by Nature (2017–2019) Promoting the health and wellbeing of children and young people by increasing their levels of green exercise
Path to Nature (in Finnish) (2017–2019) Promoting non-discriminatory outdoor activities
Esikoto (in Finnish) (2016–2018) Creating an effective pre-integration model for the asylum process so that already the asylum application period could be more beneficial to the asylum seekers and society at large
Saint Slow (in Finnish) (2015–2018) Promoting, developing and marketing tourism services and products that allow visitors to experience nature and local culture in a comprehensive and relaxed manner


Hiking and wilderness experience as a source of wellbeing

In 2017, more than 5.9 million people visited Finland's national parks, hiking areas and other popular recreational areas. According to the road use surveys carried out in 2015 and 2016, about 500,000 people visit multiple-use forests in Kainuu, while in Southern Finland, the figure is about one million.

People staying in national parks feel that the visits have significant health and wellbeing impacts. According to questionnaire surveys, more than 87 per cent of all visitors to nature reserves and historical sites feel that spending time at the sites has fairly or very significant health and wellbeing impacts. According to the respondents, the health and wellbeing impacts arising from each visit is equal to about 100 euros. Visitors to multiple-use forests put the figure at between 200 and 300 euros.

Wilderness permit holders spent a total of about 400,000 days at wilderness sites and according to the survey, they felt that spending time in the wilderness had enhanced their wellbeing. Nine out of ten hunters and eight out of ten fishers felt that their latest wilderness trip had made them fitter and more relaxed and strengthened their friendships.

Customer satisfaction and wellbeing impacts in 2017 (scale 1–5)

Customer satisfaction among hunting permit holders 3.70
Customer satisfaction among fishing permit holders 3.70
Customer satisfaction among users of visitor centres and field services 4.34
Health and wellbeing impacts experienced in nature reserves and historical sites (social, physical and psychological) 4.36


Healthy Parks – Healthy People

In 2017, Parks & Wildlife Finland developed the health-promotion programme ‘Healthy Parks – Healthy People’. With this programme, which extends to the year 2025, Parks & Wildlife Finland plan to meet the challenges of the future in cooperation with their partners.

Nature makes you feel better – you can experience it in your nearby nature
or in a national park.


The aim of the programme is to encourage Finns to become healthier and feel better physically, psychologically and socially by taking a look at the wonders of Finnish nature.

Photo: Tuukka Luukkonen