Saturday, September 12, 2009

Puolukoita - Lingonberries

Puolukka - Vaccinium vitis-idae, also known as lingonberry or lowbush cranberry. This berry can be found in northern climes around the world. In most of Finland they are ready for the picking.

I discussed Everyman's Rights (Jokamiehen oikeudet) in a previous post about blueberries. Please familiarize yourself with these simple rules before venturing onto private property. There have been some tensions between migrant/immigrant berry pickers recently.

This article in Jyväskylän Kaupunkilehti highlights a camp recently discovered by a landowner which was occupied by up to 30 people who started fires without permission, peeled bark of living birch trees (which ultimately affects the value of the timber) and were found to have been harvesting moss by the trailerload. Such behavior doesn't seem to be in the spirit of Everyman's Rights.

Everyman's right in brief (From Ministry of the Environment website)

Everyone may:

walk, ski or cycle freely in the countryside, except in gardens, in the immediate vicinity of people’s homes, and in fields and plantations which could easily be damaged

stay or set up camp temporarily in the countryside, a reasonable distance from homes

pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers, as long as they are not protected species

fish with a rod and line

row, sail or use a motorboat on waterways, with certain restrictions;

swim or wash in inland waters and the seawalk, ski and fish on frozen lakes, rivers and the sea

You may not:

disturb other people or damage property

disturb breeding birds, or their nests or youngdisturb reindeer or game animals

cut down or damage living trees, or collect wood, moss or lichen on other people’s property

light open fires on other people’s property, except in an emergency

disturb the privacy of people’s homes, by camping too near them, or making too much noise, for example

leave litter

drive motor vehicles off road without the landowner’s permission

fish or hunt without the relevant permits

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