Managing semi-natural grasslands

Semi-natural grasslands and wooded pastures are a highly endangered part of our nature. Changes in farming practices have reduced the surface area of grassland habitats, leaving them abandoned. Meadows need continuous management to prevent overgrowth.

The management of semi-natural grasslands helps the many endangered species that live there. Semi-natural grasslands are home to a particularly large number of endangered plant and insect species, such as moonwort, dwarf gentian, the clouded Apollo butterfly and the marsh fritillary, along with Aphodius sphacelatus, a dung beetle that depends on natural pastures for survival. The management of meadows and fields also helps to safeguard food production, as they are important habitats for pollinator insects.

The Helmi programme aims to rehabilitate 15,000 hectares of semi-natural grasslands biotopes by the end of 2023. Finland currently has around 30,000 hectares of semi-natural grasslands managed by grazing and other means.

Management and restoration will begin in areas covered by the Natura 2000 network. At the moment, the state of semi-natural grasslands Finland as a whole is being surveyed and the most valuable sites are being identified. The management and restoration measures will be targeted based on the results of the survey.


Hanna-Leena Keskinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of the Environment, Department of the Natural Environment, Nature Conservation and Management 0295250096