Parks & Wildlife Finland

Parks & Wildlife Finland is a unit of Metsähallitus, which manages state-owned lands and waters all over Finland. Parks & Wildlife Finland is in charge of public administration services such as nature and cultural heritage protection and fishing and hunting permits. We also provide free facilities for hikers.

A birdwatcher watching birds at at a lake with a telescope.
Siikalahti is an internationally significant birdlake and it is being restored by Parks & Wildlife Finland with help from government funding in the large Helmi project. Photo by Minna Koramo.

The services of Parks & Wildlife Finland are largely financed from the national government budget. Income from fishing and hunting permits is used to manage hunting grounds and fishing waters. We work with various partners on projects where the public funding is used to leverage wider funding and benefits.

Parks & Wildlife Finland is comprised of National Parks Finland and Wildlife Service Finland.

National Parks Finland 

  • manages state-owned nature reserves and historic sites 
  • provides free facilities for visitors to these areas 
  • compiles GPS data on conservation issues in protected areas 
  • participates in international collaboration on nature conservation 
  • maintains snowmobile routes. 

Finland’s 40 national parks welcome more than 3 million visitors annually. The newest national park, Hossa in North-East Finland, was established in 2017, celebrating Finland’s centenary of independence.  

Visitors to national parks, national hiking areas and other protected and recreational areas contribute almost EUR 300 million to local economies. 

Wildlife Service Finland 

  • manages state-owned hunting grounds and sells hunting permits 
  • manages state-owned fishing waters and sells fishing permits 
  • supervises hunting, fishing and off-road traffic in wilderness areas

State-owned areas give everyone access to these wilderness activities. Every year, around 150,000 different permits and licences for hunting and fishing are sold. The state-owned areas are used also by those who fish and hunt under special rights, such as free angling and ice fishing rights. Altogether, fishing and hunting enthusiast spend almost two million days a year pursuing these activities on state lands and waters.

The proceeds from the permits go towards managing game and fisheries and securing the future of hunting and fishing in Finland. Revenue from permits is used, for example, for restoring and managing game and fish habitats.

Organisation and Contact Information 

The operations of National Parks Finland cover three processes and four regions.  The processes of National Parks Finland are 

  • Protected Area Management Planning 
  • Nature and Cultural Heritage Conservation 
  • Recreation and Nature Tourism.

Parks & Wildlife Finland is headed by the Director who is also the director of National Parks Finland. The Regional Directors are in charge of the four regional units of National Parks Finland.

Wildlife Service Finland is headed by the Director of Game and Fisheries. Wildlife Service Finland operates in four teams and three regions. The teams are  

  • Hunting 
  • Fishing 
  • Wilderness supervision
  • Communications and customer service

The three operative regions are Lapland, Ostrobothnia and Kainuu, and Southern Finland.

Contact information of Parks & Wildlife Service Finland