Sertifikaadi saanud ettevõtjad 02.02.2023

On World Wetlands Day, February 2nd, the Environmental Board awarded ten Estonian nature tourism businesses from the regions of Matsalu, Soomaa and Lahemaa national parks with international sustainable tourism recognition - European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (ECST Part II) certificate. This certificate enables local businesses working in partnership with the protected area authority to recieve recognition as sustainable partners.

The conservation objective of the Nabala-Tuhala Nature Reserve is to protect springs, springy areas and karst formations, including subsurface streams and the hydrological regime of the karst area with the Tuhala Witch’s Well, the area’s bog and forest ecosystems, biodiversity, endangered and rare species, the habitat types specified in Annex I of the Habitats Directive and the species and their habitats specified in Annex II as well as the species and their habitats specified in Annex I of the Birds Directive.

  • Try not to leave any traces in nature.
  • Picking berries, mushrooms and other forest by-products is permitted throughout the protected area, except during a ban of movement in the special management zones of Sõmeru and Heinasoo.
  • Follow the freedom to roam when in the natural environment.
  • Ask the owner’s permission to be on marked/fenced private land.
  • Camping is permitted in the protected area.

The landscape of the Nabala-Tuhala region has been shaped by karst. Into the crevices of rocks, groundwater has burrowed beds of subsurface streams, caves and other karst formations. During high water, all underground gaps and beds of subsurface streams fill with water and water surges even in areas that are normally dry. The best-known sight is the Tuhala Witch’s Well, which ‘boils’ in periods of high water. 
There are three hiking trails to learn about the natural and cultural values of the protected area. 

The settlement of the Tuhala region is known to date back more than 3000 years. Findings in the area include ancient settlements, small-pitted sacred rocks, cairns, ancient fields, refuges and sacred places. The water from the spring of Tammiku was used to heal eye problems by both locals as well as people from further afield. The water of the Möllu spring in Sõmeru had a healing effect and there have been reports of monetary sacrifices. Even today, people leave ribbons at the Möllu spring.

  • The Nabala-Tuhala karst area is truly one of a kind in its extent throughout Europe. 
  • The protection of the area’s natural values began with the formation of the Tuhala hydrogeological reserve (Kata karst area) in 1989.
  • The Nabala-Tuhala Nature Reserve was formed in 2014 on the basis of the Tuhala Landscape Protection Area, the Tammiku Nature Reserve, the special conservation area of Rahaaugu and the Angerja black stork species protection site. 
  • The largest karst areas of the region – Nabala, Kuimetsa and Tuhala – are connected to each other by underground

The nature of the protected area is primarily characterised by the bog, which is surrounded by various types of forest and is the heart of the area’s hydrological cycle. The protected raised bog consists of the Mukri bog in the north and the Ellamaa bog in the south. The bogs are named after nearby villages of the same name. The two bogs are often jointly called the Mukri bog.