Pealand photographed from above. The many ditches running through the area have been filled.
All the peatland restoration actions of the Hydrology LIFE project in Lapland are completed and the ditches filled. Photo: Mika Puustinen.

What´s new

An abundant dinner is served – bats feast at restored wetlands in Finland

New research at the University of Turku shows that bats like restored wetlands! (report and press release 27.6.2023)

Hydrology LIFE is a large and effective project for improving the status of peatlands, important bird lakes and small water bodies in Finland.

We restore peatlands in about 100 Natura 2000 sites across the country.

Peatlands and mires are typical of Finland but these environments have undergone major changes in recent decades. The restoration measures recover the degraded habitats towards the original state vital for many valuable species. Many functions important for humans, including e.g. flood protection, water quality and game areas, will also be improved.

The project not only helps restoring wetlands but we also come up with new initiatives and an operating model for rewetting the dried-out protected peatlands. The wide range of inventories and long-term monitoring by the project provide invaluable data on how restoration can be used to preserve the biodiversity, to improve water quality and to slow down climate change. The information gained by examining how local people and the recreational users of protected areas feel about restoration can be used to develop restoration measures.

Wetland restoration in two minutes!

Hydrology LIFE video tells us in two minutes how the nature of wetlands can be protected by habitat restoration (

Last project year 2023 running actively

The large Hydrology LIFE project started in summer 2017.

During the year 2022 we restored over 1,300 hectares and completed restoration work in 30 sites. Over 5,200 hectares out of the goal of 5,222 hectares have already been restored, including over 70 peatland areas of the targeted 95. Still the last project year 2023 is running actively. Blocking ditches continues in few sites. We will also return small streams to their old routes and a better condition and restore important bird lakes. In addition, many of the research works are in full swing. 

Restoration works continue throughout the winter in Finland. When the migratory birds return with the light of spring they will find thriving habitats.

Read more about the targets and results of the project!

A small wild duck in the water, opening its wings
Restoring of bird lakes can help the endangered tufted duck Photo: Antti Below.

WetlandGame and Wetland Cards

In the WetlandGame, your task is to protect the vitality of nature and at the same time ensure people´s livelihood. The game is made for schoolchildren (age 12 or older) but int can be played by anybody.

The WetlandGame (Kosteikkopeli) is online in Finnish, Swedih and English and free of charge (

We have recently published a set of Wetland Cards to give tips on how we all can help the wetlands and benefit from it, too.

Wetland cards are pdf files at the address

  • Wetland card 1 Excessive water from forest to peatland
  • Wetland card 2 Grazing animals help coastal meadows
  • Wetland card 3 Help nature in the Wetland Game
  • Wetland card 4 Peatland biodiversity benefits many
  • Wetland card 5 Return brooks to the fish and anglers.

Project information

The European Union LIFE funding covers 60% of the nearly EUR 9 million budget of the Hydrology LIFE (LIFE16NAT/FI/000583).

The project runs between 1st August 2017 and 31st December 2023.

The project is co-ordinated by Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland.

Other beneficiaries include North Savo and Central Finland Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Finnish Forest Centre, Tapio Oy, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd, and the universities of Jyväskylä, Oulu and Turku.

Project Manager Maria Tiusanen
Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland
+ 358 206 39 4444

Towards flourishing peatlands in Finland – Hydrology LIFE project safeguards globally threatened wetlands

When the migratory birds leave the wetlands of Finland in autumn we want to raise awareness for safeguarding the precious peatlands. The article is also published in Peatlands International – The global IPS member magazine on all aspects of peat and peatlands (issue 3, September 2021). For more information on Peatlands International publications, see

Hydrology LIFE Project Video (

The project has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union. The material reflects the views by the authors, and the European Commission or the CINEA is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

Last updated 27 June 2023