Safeguarding biodiversity is one of Metsä Group’s strategic sustainability objectives for 2030 and is a key aspect of consideration in planning and conducting each and every operation in forestry. Finnish forests play an important role in preserving biodiversity, as they are a home to many different habitats with over 20,000 different species.
Increasing the amount of decaying wood
Increasing the amount of decaying wood in forests is one of the actions which supports Metsä Group’s sustainability objective of safeguarding biodiversity. The amount of decaying wood in a forest is actively increased by both the retention of decaying trees already there and the creation of new ones. The most important and visible element for this process is to leave a group of retention trees standing after a felling. At least ten trees are left standing on each hectare, preferably in small groups. The retention trees have two principal purposes: they provide a forest with trees of various ages, and with decaying wood.
Four high stumps per hectare
All types of felling operations carried out by Metsä Group include the creation of high biodiversity stumps. High biodiversity stumps are made by cutting a tree’s trunk at the height of 2–4 metres. A high stump starts decaying after a few years, benefiting fungi, insects and a number of forest-dwelling birds. High stumps are a forest owner’s voluntary addition to efforts aimed at supporting the biodiversity of forest nature. From the beginning of 2020, the goal is now set to leave four high stumps per hectare.
Forest regeneration service
In addition, it is important to support mixed forests wherever the fertility of the site allows for it. In the autumn of 2019, Metsä Group launched a new forest regeneration service aimed at increasing the proportion of mixed forests. Streams, ponds and other wet areas in a forest are also important for biodiversity. One of the most significant measures, with regard to the protection of water, is to leave a buffer zone by, or along, the watercourses.