An Everyman’s Rights tradition provides people in Finland unparalleled opportunities to explore nature and enjoy the bounty of the forest. Nearly 90 per cent of Finland’s surface area falls under the Everyman’s Rights law and can be used for recreational enjoyment of the great outdoors. Everyman’s Rights also apply to visitors from abroad. Moving about in natural areas does not require the landowner’s permission, nor are the privileges enshrined in Everyman’s Rights subject to the payment of any fees. Anyone may freely pick wild berries, mushrooms and plants, with the exception of a few species protected under environmental laws.
The privilege of Everyman’s Rights also comes with a responsibility towards the environment. It is prohibited to violate nature by littering or vandalism, which are criminal offences. Nature is sensitive and renews itself slowly, so those passing through it should take care to avoid disturbing its delicate balance.
- Collecting wild berries, mushrooms, flowers and most herbaceous plants; rowan and juniper berries may also be collected.
- Gathering pine cones, dry twigs or other such natural products from the ground.
- Walking, skiing or cycling anywhere apart from on cultivated land or in gardens or yards.
- Traversing and camping temporarily on someone else’s land.
- Fishing with worm bait and ice fishing.
- Boating, swimming and washing in inland waters or the sea.
- Removal of bark, branches, leaves, resin, sap or cones from a growing or fallen tree.
- Removal of moss, lichen, wood, shrubs or peat from someone else’s land.
- Cutting down grass.
- Traversing and staying overnight on cultivated land or in someone’s yard.
- Lighting an open fire on someone else’s property without permission.
- Fishing or hunting without permission.
- Driving a motor vehicle off marked tracks or roads without the landowner’s permission.