Discover nature together during the European Heritage Days

Press release 2017-02-08 at 11:00
Retkeilijöitä Kolin huipulla, Retkeilijöitä Kolin huipulla
Nature and cultural heritage are combined in Koli National Park ©Tapio Heikilä, Image Bank of the Environmental Administration

Press release from the Ministry of the Environment and the Finnish Local Heritage Federation

‘Discover Nature Together’ is the theme for the European Heritage Days 2017 in Finland. The year is opened today in an event held at the Ministry of the Environment. In the opening ceremony, the winners of the Cultural Heritage-makers competition for children and young people, a pre-school group from Tampere called Nestorit, will be awarded their prizes, and a new competition assignment will be revealed.

Celebrating the cultural basis of people’s relationship to nature in hundreds of events during the European Heritage Days

Nearly all nature resorts are part of our cultural environment and, in one way or another, they all exhibit signs of human activities. The European Heritage Days will highlight the importance of private yards, national parks and urban farming, for example. The programme for the opening ceremony for the theme year of ‘Discover Nature Together’ includes discussions on the wellbeing effects of urban nature and the intangible cultural heritage related to nature as well as brainstorming to get new ideas for events in the autumn.

In Finland the European Heritage Days will culminate in the autumn, starting on the Finnish Nature Day on 26 August 2017 and continuing until 10 September 2017. The theme year is organised together with the Nature Days 2017 project. This year events are organised by the national network of city parks, club houses and neighbourhood associations, and they include, for example, environmental art exhibitions, landscape management and guided tours to natural monuments. There are around 200 events every year in Finland, and all are welcome to organise events. All the events will be included in the Finnish event calendar at and they will even reach European publicity through

European Heritage Days

The European Heritage Days gather some 20 million people in 50 countries together in tens of thousands of events. The purpose of the European Heritage Days is to pay attention to environmental and cultural values in one’s immediate surroundings and to see cultural environment as a resource and a source of wellbeing. There is always a shared theme for the European Heritage Days, and this year Europe will be celebrating ‘Heritage and Nature’. The European Heritage Days are an initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Commission. In Finland the Heritage Days are coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment, the Finnish Local Heritage Federation, the National Board of Antiquities, the National Agency for Education, and the Association of Cultural Heritage Education in Finland.

Let’s eat together in cultural environments

Anyone can celebrate the European Heritage Days in their own way, by for example eating together. The European Heritage Days and the ‘Let’s eat together’ project invite people to celebrate the heritage days around collective dinner tables and encourage them to discuss the importance of cultural environments and shared meals social on media platforms.

Competition to encourage children and young people to explore their immediate surroundings

The aim of the Cultural Heritage-makers competition – which is being organised as part of the European Heritage Days – is to motivate children and young people to take an active role in their cultural environment now and in the future. The assignment is to find a place or an area in nature that has an interesting history and then to share this history with the whole of Europe. The competition opens on 9 February 2017 and closes on 10 December 2018.

More information 

Twitter: @HeritageDaysFI


Sini Hirvonen, European Heritage Days Coordinator,, tel. +358 45 614 0464

Hanna Hämäläinen, Planning Officer, Ministry of the Environment,, tel. +358 295 250 095

International affairs: Liisa Lohtander, Organisation Manager,, tel. +358 45 1509 109