Recreational use of nature

Recreational use of nature means spending time in the natural environment during leisure time for recreational purposes. Common forms of such recreational use include walking, cycling, skiing, berry picking, swimming, hiking and camping. Almost all Finns, about 96% of the adult population, engage in outdoor activities in the natural environment. The traditional everyman’s right, the right of public access, and Finland’s abundant forests and waters provide an excellent setting for outdoor activities and recreation.

In most cases the Finns enjoy the natural environment close to their home, in hiking areas or commercial forests. Access to nature is important in the urban environments as well - studies have shown that spending time in nature and outdoor activities reduce our stress levels and improve our moods. Good natural environments encourage physical activities and offer opportunities both for peace and relaxation and for social interaction. 

National Nature Recreation Strategy 2030

The mission of the strategy is to help people feel better, in connection
to nature and with true appreciation for it. The vision is to focus on nature recreation as a
national success factor and enhance the value of nearby natural environments in decisionmaking, and that growing numbers of people will find suitable ways to enjoy outdoor
activities. This will improve the population’s health and wellbeing.

The strategy was prepared in extensive cooperation as an inclusive process
among the government bodies, various authorities, research institutes and NGOs. The survey
conducted in advance brought in a total of 8,074 responses from private citizens.

More information

Matti Nieminen, Senior Specialist 
Ministry of the Environment, Department of the Natural Environment, Bioeconomy 0295250001  


Miliza Malmelin, Senior Specialist 
Ministry of the Environment, Department of the Natural Environment, Bioeconomy 0295250176