Forests are a part of everyday life in Finland and they regard it as a real treasure. Forest berry and mushroom picking is a leisure activity that shapes an integral part of Finnish culture that are very popular. During summer and fall, residents go to their favourite forests and swamps, taking their baskets, buckets and snipping knives to pick some sweet-smelling berries and delicious mushrooms.
Liesjärvi National Park is known as one of the best foraging places in Finland. By car you can get there in about an hour by main road 2 (Helsinki - Pori) in Tammela about 95 km from Helsinki and 22 km from Forssa.
The park is dotted with green forests, scenic lakes and rugged crags. Berry and mushroom picking in Liesjärvi National Park allows you to workout as you hike through the forests and at the same time splendour at the stillness of nature.
Berry and mushroom picking is allowed by Everyman’s Rights almost anywhere in Finland. It is totally free! It comes along with the responsibility of respecting nature as well as some rules to be followed. The most important rules for berry and mushroom pickers are: keeping a distance of 50 metres at the very least to residential buildings and gardens, cultivated fields or plantations. When picking wild berries from a field, it’s most probably owned by someone and you should leave those alone.
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Restrictions may implement to the collection of naturally grown products in national parks and other protected areas; Picking Chaga mushrooms, for instance are not authorised in national parks and other protected areas.
When picking berries, only pick those you can recognise and you must be careful in not damaging the plant. The common wild berries are raspberry, cloudberry, dark blue bilberry and lingonberry. The best season for picking berries is from mid-July until October.
Finland is a mushroom pickers heaven. There are plenty of mushrooms, but it is important to note that not all mushrooms are edible. Just like with the berries, you must also pick mushrooms that you can recognise as some mushrooms are highly poisonous. It is advised to use several sources of identification before picking and eating any wild mushrooms.
Some of the most common edible mushrooms are: yellow chanterelle, funnel chanterelle, horn of plenty, penny-bun and woolly milkcap. Most of the mushrooms are picked from August to November. As mentioned earlier, sources of identification or a guided tour are advised so you won’t end up eating the poisonous varieties.
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Picking berries and mushrooms in a calm forest is relaxing, enjoyable, and a great way to spend time with your friends and family. Moreover, berries and mushrooms are also a great addition to your healthy eating plan. Just the thought of having your oatmeal breakfast topped with freshly picked blueberries is a healthy way to start your day! Start packing your bags for a memorable adventure and get to experience nature the Finnish way by berry and mushroom picking in Liesjärvi National Park.