The coastal meadows of Ruissalo
Open coastal meadows have been formed as a result of sea level variations, the movement of glaciers, mowing and grazing. They are characterised by low grasses and herbs that form distinct zones along the coastline, and the absence of trees and shrubs, though you might find the odd juniper growing here and there. Nowadays the openness of coastal meadows is threatened by eutrophication, which results in bushes claiming the landscape, overgrowth and a decline in biodiversity. On Ruissalo, the coastal meadow located between the cycling road leading to Kansanpuisto and the shore is a representative Finnish coastal meadow. It has been managed by grazing since 1995.
Expansive, shallow bays are valuable and protected habitats. Krottilanlahti and Härkälahti in the southern part of Ruissalo are typical examples of such shallow sea bays, which are unaffected by fresh river water and ocean currents. These bays have soft bottoms and their shorelines are lined with reeds. Natural shallow bays feature a rich and diverse range of bottom-dwelling flora and fauna. Because of this, these types of bays are also valuable from the perspective of bird species. The best way to discover Krottilanlahti is to visit the bird watching tower located on its shore.