An introductory lecture was conducted at the beginning of the day to introduce the students to the concepts that will be covered during the summer school. Professor Markku Kanninen explained to the students that there are two current trends in rural landscapes – decline/ degradation as well as diversification. Rural landscapes have faced degradation and decline, with major drivers including land use change, agricultural expansion, large scale commercial logging, mining and urbanisation. However, trees are also increasing on farmland and landscapes are diversifying. In recent times farms have moved back to being forested land. One reason for this is that farmers are increasingly abandoning farms and moving to urban areas. Further, trees in farmland are a helpful tool in establishing boundaries and diversifying the landscape, with a combination of trees and agriculture, increases productivity.
Following this, the students travelled to Tampere, a former industrial city. The students were given a talk and tour at Tako paperboard mill, a Metsä board mill that produce high quality fresh fibre board. The Tako mill employs around 200 people and supplies paperboard to companies all over the world. The mill was established in 1865 and has two board machines.
Metsä board is part of Metsä group which is owned by a cooperative of 104,000 forest owners. Metsä group has made around €4.7 million in sales, with €1.7 million of this from paperboards. The company operates in 30 countries, produces in 7 and 100% of its raw wood materials are traceable.
After this, the students travelled to Hyytiälä field station where they will spent the next 2 days.
– Maria Mills