Opening overgrown beaches in Archipelago National Park. Photo: Jani Virtanen.

The unique, versatile natural environment and species on the sand beaches of the Baltic Sea are threatened in many locations by eutrophication and overgrowth caused by nitrogen loads. This results in bare sand being overgrown by the common reed or other tall vegetation, or almost impenetrably thick junipers or other bushes. Natural, predominantly threatened species that live on sand beaches along the shoreline and in the archipelago are suffering from spread of the rugosa rose, a harmful invasive alien species.

The project improved the conditions on the sand beaches of the Baltic Sea in five Natura 2000 sites in 2016–2020. Algae masses were removed from the beaches, while the common reed was mechanically cut over several consecutive years. Bushes were removed and the rugosa rose systematically eradicated.

In the Tulliniemi bird conservation area in Hankoniemi the overgrown sandy beaches got help by the project and volunteers in 2019 when a lot of bushes and trees were removed. Duckboards of planks were constructed to protect the vegetation on the popular swimming beach.

Storsanden before restoration. Photo: Lena Wargén / Parks & Wildlife Finland.
Cutting the common reed helps to fight overgrowth at the sandy beaches of Storsanden on the west coast of Finland. Photo: Lena Wargén / Parks & Wildlife Finland.
Tulliniemi sandy beach before and after tree removal. Photos: Hans-Erik Nyman.

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Last updated 21 February 2022