The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation is a non-governmental organization that promotes the protection of old growth forests. The foundation has been active since its establishment in 1995 purchasing old untouched forests with donation funds and applying for a permanent protection for them according to the Nature Conservation Act. In Finland, a mere four percent of the forests in the southern half of the country is under legal protection. This is why the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation's primary goal is to purchase forest sites from southern and central Finland.
At the moment (August 2019) the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation owns 94 of protected sites, which cover altogether nearly 2 000 hectares. Most of these sites consist of dense forests, except a few mire and meadow areas.
When searching for appropriate sites, the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation focuses on old forests that haven’t been cut and host a high degree of biodiversity. Generally speaking, the trees in a suitable forest represent numerous species and different life stages from saplings to full-grown trees and decaying ones.
In order to find suitable sites, the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation collaborates with public authorities represented by the regional environmental centres.
A board of six permanent members and one deputy member governs the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation. At the moment, the foundation employs one full-time and four part-time workers. The office is situated in Hämeenlinna.