Habitat restoration and translocation of Pulsatilla patens
One of the most beautiful flowers in Finland, the protected Pulsatilla patens is found only within a small area in the Kanta-Häme Region in the environs of the city of Hämeenlinna. The flower grows on steep esker slopes and in the sunlit pine forests in their vicinity. Forest fires and forest grazing used to provide the habitats of P. patens with enough light and sufficient gaps in the undergrowth. Fire prevention, abandoned grazing and eutrophication caused by nitrogen loads have caused overgrowth in several habitats, while other areas are now covered by a thick layer of raw humus and forest litter. P. patens populations have been in alarming decline for decades and the species is now critically endangered.
The project covers seven Natura 2000 sites in which the species is still found. In 2016, excavators, hoes and metal rakes will be used to clear habitats and their immediate surroundings of shady trees and patches of surface peat. Some sites will also be burned to improve the growing conditions for P. patens. In 2016–2019, P. patens saplings and seeds of the area's native populations will be planted on the maintained strips of land. The survival of the saplings will be monitored according to a monitoring and translocation plan drawn up as part of the project.