The island of Ruissalo is located off the coast of Turku. To the southwest of the seven-kilometre-long island extends Airisto, a stretch of open sea. Ruissalo is known for its deciduous herb-rich forests and old oaks, but the island’s diverse habitats also include, for example, coniferous forests, fields and bays. The nature of Ruissalo can be explored on the island’s many varied nature trails, along which you can both experience nature and see magnificent villas.
The nature conservation areas of Ruissalo expanded significantly in 2006 when the predecessor of the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Southwest Finland made protection decisions on three areas: the herb-rich forests of Ruissalo (area 248 ha in total), the bird bays and shores of Ruissalo (94 ha) and the bird islets of Ruissalo (10 ha). Establishing these conservation areas was connected to the agreement between the State of Finland and the City of Turku regarding land ownership on Ruissalo, which transferred the majority of the island of Ruissalo to the City’s ownership. At the same time, the requirements of both the herb-rich forest conservation programme and the Natura 2000 network were met.