The Friends of Ancient Forest was founded in 2005. At the time, it was felt that there was a need for an organised group who would focus purely on the conservation of old forests in the ever increasing atmosphere of clear-cuts and aggressive forest management. The times have not, however, been changing, at least not for the better, and old forests still sorely need their defenders, so the work continues.

From the very beginning, The Friends of Ancient Forests has provided support for The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation (Luonnonperintösäätiö), who acquire lands where old forests thrive and bring them under the protection of both the Foundation laws as well as the Nature Conservation Act in Finland.

The Friends of Ancient Forests works to promote awareness of forest ecology and natural habitats of many, often endangered species of flora and fauna. The association also seeks to emphasise the cultural values and social importance forests have in the Finnish mindscape as well as the society on the whole.

Annual excursions to sites owned by The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation are enjoyed by many of our members. We also welcome those who are not members but would wish to learn more about forests and enjoy the unique experience of visiting a pristine forest, to join us on our treks. Occasionally, we also take part in restoration treks where we might, for instance, remove materials left by earlier habitation, such as fences or metal wiring, that might be harmful to nature and animals.

Membership fees and donations fund the work of the association. There are approximately 700 of us at the moment! The current annual fee is 25€ (+10€ for each family member if the whole family wishes to join) and 17€ for students, pensioners and others, who feel they cannot afford the full fee, but wish to support the association.The advised annual fee for businesses and other organisations is 100€.

As a member, you receive two or three newsletters a year, delivered preferably via e-mail, and a paper copy of the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation’s annual magazine. Members, who wish to contribute their time as well as a membership fee, are also most welcome!

If you wish to join us, please pay the membership fee to: Ikimetsän ystävät ry (Friends of Ancient Forest) IBAN FI32 5537 0120 0539 06 (Tampereen seudun osuuspankki), SWIFT (BIC) OKOYFIHH. Please make sure you mention your name, address details and e-mail in the message when you make the payment.

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