From the hot and humid rainforest we come back to Finland. Finland is known for its forests, and about 70 % of the land area is forest, which makes it the most forested country in Europe. However, about only 12.6 per cent of the forested area is protected or in limited use (that is, where logging is restricted). Entirely protected (no logging at all) are about 9.6 % of the forested area, which makes 2.2 million hectares.
Finnish people’s love for forests has sprouted a great concept called Love Forest Finland from the creative mind of Ms. Anu Nylund. According to the origin story of Love Forest Finland, the idea for a more ecological alternative to popular love locks came to Anu on the International Day of Forests on 2016. Coincidentally, we have just celebrated it in March 21, 2021, so this post is more than relevant today. The first ever love trees under this concept were planted in 2020.
The idea is that you can plant your own tree (or more) where it is legally permitted and where you have the landowner’s permission. When you plant the tree, you dedicate it to someone – or something – you love and wish to seal your love in this way for as long as the tree grows, which is hopefully a long time. The forest owner is ultimately responsible for taking care of that tree, but obviously you can be involved as well.
The location of the tree (or trees if you plant more than one) will be put and shown on a map where you and everyone else will have a chance to see where it is located. Details on how to get g(r)o(w)ing can be found here.
When enough individual trees have been planted, they will hopefully form a ”forest”, although there might be a some distance between them. But as for love itself, it will reach and connect across vast distances.
Is there money involved? Yes, but the best thing is that a considerable amount of it will go to nature conservation. So if you plant your love tree, register it with the Love Forest Finland and purchase the certificate. For every certificate purchased, 10 € will be donated to the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation.
Although this is originally a Finnish concept, you can plant your own love tree anywhere else in the world (under the same preconditions). However, please remember to choose only species that can be planted on that particular site you wish to plant them. Always check the local and regional conditions first, and ask for help from the authorities if you are unsure.
Planting your own love tree is not only your testament to love, but it is also a great way to fight deforestation and facilitate nature conservation efforts. Even one tree matters. Your love matters.
(If you find any errors or misinformation, please let me know. Love Forest Finland / Mood of Finland Oy is not responsible for the above text and wording.)