How we do it: field excursion to the Bothnian Bay National Park, Finland

Last week the project group made its way from the offices to the nature. Many of the SEAmBOTH partners are forever stuck in the office and don’t do any field work while some of us collect more data at the sea.

The aim of the field excursion was to get to know the project pilot areas. We visited both in the Haparanda Skärgårds national park in the Swedish side and stayed in Bothnian Bay National Park in Finland. We also had a contact with one of the local stakeholder groups when we organized a taxi boat from Tornio to take the group around.

A sand valley with duckboards going across, 7 people walking on them.
Photo by Essi Keskinen, Metsähallitus.

One of the first things that everyone could see was that the weather conducts everything while doing fieldwork. When everyone arrived on Wednesday, the wind was 10 m/s from Northwest. The boat trip that usually takes us about 35-45 minutes took way longer than an hour. The sea was trying to get into the boat and we were soaked. But the sun was shining and we had good equipment, so the wind was just a perfect example of a weather prohibiting us from working.

4 persons in a boat in bright sun shine.
Photo by Ville Savilampi, Metsähallitus.

Lunch was exotic. Since there was an archipelago event going on through the week, Perämeren Saaristopäivät, there was a pop up restaurant with Bothnian Bay salmon and white fish prepared on fire in one of the islands in Bothnian Bay national park. That was a perfect way to start a field trip.

4 people grilling fish on outside barbeque.

In the evening we discussed the project and went to sauna and woke up to a perfectly calm but rainy weather. We divided into two groups and Metsähallitus taught the office workers how to do drop-videos and wading points. Suvi taught drop videos in the boat Inca, and Essi and Ville paraded around in the bright orange survival suits with two extra orange people, the office workers, in tow. Everyone carried a water binocular, orange as well.

4 people in a boat watching a laptop covered with a plastic box. One is taking notes.
Photo by Jaakko Haapamäki, Metsähallitus.
2 people doing wading points in the rain. One is using water binocular and other one is taking notes.
Photo by Essi Keskinen, Metsähallitus.

Many of the project group members knew in theory, how to do underwater nature inventories, but most of them had not done it in person. We found for example an endangered vascular plant Alisma wahlenbergii and a dead seal.

Everyone thought the field excursion was a lot of fun as well as quite educational. It always makes much more sense in the office if you’ve seen how the data is collected in the field.

A boat with 7 people in. Weather is gray and rainy.
Photo by Essi Keskinen, Metsähallitus.

We hope to organize another field trip next year, hopefully this time on the Swedish side of the project border.

Written by Essi Keskinen, Metsähallitus


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