Baltic Circle has started a collaboration with the Landscape Rewilding programme, which is operated in Finland by the non-profit cooperative Snowchange. Through the collaboration, Baltic Circle has been granted its own dedicated nature restoration location in Ähtäri called Oravasuo. The festival follows and supports the protection and rewilding efforts of this location.
When I imagine the bog, my rubber boots sink into the ground and the sounds around me grow silent. The bog breathes, absorbs and releases gases. It is a home to water and wind, birds, moisture, to translucent and deep tones of green, yellow and red, to mosses and shrubs, to cottongrass and butterflies. Navigating the bog is a specific motion, a weightless push and pull, up and down. It is special to breathe in the bog air, it is special to breathe in the bog, together with the bog.
Landscape Rewilding is an extensive restoration programme for peatlands and forests. Its mission is to combat the effects of climate change, to stop the loss of ecological diversity, and to rewilden and restore drained wetlands. The programme was initiated in 2018 by the Snowchange Cooperative, the European Investment Bank, and the Dutch organisation Rewilding Europe.
Baltic Circle’s protection site is situated in Ähtäri in the South Ostrobothnia region. The peatland called Oravasuo was purchased by the Snowchange Cooperative in June 2020 to protect it from the threat of peat production. The peatland measures around thirteen hectares in area and was selected as Baltic Circle’s protection site due to its size, accessible location and natural state as a good fit for the Helsinki-based festival.
Baltic Circle participates in the protection and rewilding work of Oravasuo and related areas by donating funds to the programme’s work on site and by monitoring the progress of the rewilding work and reporting on it. The festival will publish stories, images and observations on its website about Oravasuo and its inhabitants.
Read more about the collaboration here.