Growing time requires attention from those who move around in nature


Margit Turb

At the time of producing offspring, nature is particularly sensitive to disturbance, and in order not to lose nesting, calving, or sprouting, a person should take into account the local inhabitants when moving in the wild.

The Land Board's nature conservation map application helps to identify particularly sensitive places and times.

"Most of Estonia's nature, including protected areas, can always be visited without leaving significant traces," emphasized Kaili Viilma, Head of the Environmental Use Department of the Environmental Board. "However, some natural areas need special protection due to their special natural value or their fragility and sensitivity. In order for natural processes to work, it is sometimes necessary for a person to stay away from these areas, either completely or for a while," said Viilma.  

Thorough preparations on the map are not necessary if the hike is limited to marked hiking trails and prepared places to visit. RMK takes care of recreation areas, hiking trails, and campfire sites in the state forest, and information about them can be found on RMK's website Together with Nature.

"Outside the roads and marked hiking trails, however, nature lovers must pay attention in order to create no harm with their visit," said Kaili Viilma, the Head of the Nature Use Department of the Environmental Board. "Bogshoers should keep away from mires and bogs, where there are many ground-nesting birds, at least from St. George's Day until Midsummer's Day. Many small islets and coastal areas are also nesting grounds for numerous birds, and only one boat pulled ashore at the wrong time and place can cause the nesting to fail. The bird repelled from the nest does not have time to hide its eggs or offspring, and the nest may cool down or become easy prey for predators. Therefore, temporary movement restrictions have been established in many particularly valuable habitats," explained Viilma.

Restricted areas are visible as yellow striped area on the Land Board's nature conservation map application. Clicking on the striped area opens an information window showing the exact start and end times of the movement restriction. In this way, hikes to the desired location can be planned for a time when it does not cause irreversible damage to nature. Areas with red stripes indicate nature reserves with a year-round movement ban. 

"Nature cannot and should not be heaped with prohibition signs; therefore, one should prepare going to nature in the protected areas first with the help of the Land Board's nature protection map application," the Head of the Nature Use department of the Environmental Board recommended. 

Exceptionally, scientists and researchers may apply to the Environmental Board for permission to move to these places during the restricted period. You can read more about submitting applications and recommendations, and requirements for organizing an event in the landscape on the website of the Environmental Board. 

The Environmental Board supervises the observance of movement restrictions set for the protection of nature. An observed environmental violation can be reported to the state information phone 1247 or by e-mail A person who violates the movement restriction can expect a fine of up to 1,200 euros, but if the violation of the restriction causes environmental damage, the environmental damage must be compensated in addition to the amount of the fine. 


Liivi Reinhold