Finland's legal concept of everyman's right gives everyone the chance to enjoy outdoor pursuits, and the freedom of the country's vast forests and fells, and many lakes and rivers, with few restrictions. Public access to private land is much wider in Finland, and the other Nordic countries, than in most of other countries.
Nature is often fragile, however, and especially here in the North can be slow to recover from damage. With the freedom to enjoy the countryside comes the obligation to leave the environment undisturbed and preserve Finland's rich natural heritage for future generations to enjoy.
Walk, ski or cycle freely in the countryside, except in gardens, in the immediate vicinity of people’s homes, and in fields and plantations which could easily be damaged stay or set up camp temporarily in the countryside, a reasonable distance from homes.
Pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers, as long as they are not protected species.
Fish with a rod and line.
Row, sail or use a motorboat on waterways, with certain restrictions; swim or wash in inland waters and the sea.
Walk, ski and fish on frozen lakes, rivers and the sea.
Disturb other people or damage property.
Disturb breeding birds, or their nests or young.
Disturb reindeer or game animals.
Cut down or damage living trees, or collect wood, moss or lichen on other people’s property.
Light open fires on other people’s property, except in an emergency.
Disturb the privacy of people’s homes, by camping too near them, or making too much noise, for example leave litter.
Drive motor vehicles off road without the landowner’s permission.
Fish or hunt without the relevant permits.