SeaCOMBO project group out and about

Four smiling women standing in Sandskär with SeaCOMBO t-shirts on.

We were finally able to cross the border and meet live after almost one year of Teams & Skype meetings! We did a field trip together and visited both Haparanda Archipelago National Park in Sweden and Bothnian Bay National Park in Finland.

We started the trip from Haparanda and visited the biggest island that belongs to the Haparanda Archipelago National Park – Sandskär. The boat ride from Haparanda takes a little over an hour and we had such a lovely weather it was hard to contain our smiles.

View from the Bothnian Bay, from deck of a boat
On our way to Sandskär! Photo: Linnea Bergdahl, Länsstyrelsen Norrbotten.
Four happy persons sitting at the back of an boat out in the sea.
Happy passengers enjoying our ride to Sandskär. Photo: Eveliina Lampinen, ELY-centre.

Sandskär has beautiful diverse nature and landscapes. There are also interesting cultural sites, such as an chapel, graveyard from the 1800s and the village Kumpula.

Three persons walking on rocky ancient beach
Ancient beach in Sandskär. Photo: Linnea Bergdahl, Länsstyrelsen Norrbotten.
Big old sandy dunes
Old sand dunes in Sandskär. Photo: Eveliina Lampinen, ELY-centre.
Sandy beach, grass and a little forest next to the Bothnian Bay
Beautiful sandy beach and different stages of succession visible in Sandskär. Photo: Eveliina Lampinen, ELY-centre.

Do you know what it looks like when you take a group of botanists, biologists or other natural scientists to a new place with lots of new and interesting species? You do not get very far without someone crouching or bending over wondering what something is!

After sunny day spent in Sandskär and visiting Natura2000 site in Haparanda, we continued with our field trip and crossed the border to Finland. Everything went smoothly and we were able to continue to the Bothnian Bay National Park. First stop was possibly the most visited island in the Bothnian Bay National Park – Selkä-Sarvi.

View on top of a 25 meters high tower in Selkä-Sarvi island.
View of southern part of Selkä-Sarvi and it’s nature trail. Photo: Suvi Saarnio, ELY-centre.

Selkä-Sarvi is a lot smaller than Sandskär and for that reason there are not that many different lanscapes. The island is also more moist in the middle parts and there is nice lush forest. In the southern end of the island, there are remains of old fishing village. There is also wilderness hut, sauna and rentable hut and sauna. We of course put our feet in the water every time we got and tried to find some special species.

Three persons walking on path in lush green forest.
In the forest in Selkä-Sarvi. Photo: Linnea Bergdahl, Länsstyrelsen Norrbotten.

Our next stop in Bothnian Bay National Park was Pensaskari, where we will do restoration work later in August. In both Selkä-Sarvi and Pensaskari there are sheep herding and a couple of volunteer shepherds that spend a week in the island taking care of the sheep.

A herd of sheep looking at the camera in front of old grey shed
The sheep in Pensaskari were still tame and came to see if we had anything good for them. They will get more wild during the summer when they roam free around the island. Photo: Suvi Saarnio, ELY-center.

Our last stops were Kuusiluoto, which is and old sawmill island with lots of interesting remains from the times it was bustling little town with around 1000 inhabitants, and Vähä-Huituri island where we spent the night.

Five smiling women standing in row looking at the camera outside
We forgot to take a SeaCOMBO project group picture, but here from left to right are Mary, Suvi, Tupuna, Eveliina and Kajsa. Linnea is behind the camera. Photo: Linnea Bergdahl, Länsstyrelsen Norrbotten.

Suomeksi: SeaCOMBO projektiryhmä tutustumassa Perämeren kansallispuistoihin

Pääsimme tapaamaan kasvotusten SeaCOMBO projektiryhmän kanssa ensimmäistä kertaa lähes vuoteen! Vierailimme yhdessä sekä Haaparannan saariston kansallispuistossa Sadskärin saarella että Perämeren kansallispuistossa Selkä-Sarvessa, Pensaskarissa ja Vähä-Huiturissa. Oli hienoa päästä tutustumaan alueeseen tarkemmin ja nähdä muita hankkeessa mukana olevia muutenkin kuin Teamsin tai Skypen kautta.

På svenska: SeaCOMBO besöker nationalparkerna i norra Bottenviken

För första gången på nästan ett år fick vi i projektteamet återigen träffa varandra! Vi besökte både nationalparken Haparanda skärgård och ön Sandskär samt Bottenvikens nationalpark och öarna Selkä-Sarvi, Pensaskari och Vähä-Huituri. Det var fantastiskt att lära känna området närmare och träffa de andra i projektet annat än via digitala möten.

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