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Pre-Congress tours

I Baltic Peatlands pre-tour in Lithuania-Latvia-Estonia

Date: 11–14th June 2020
Price: 450 €
Price includes a 4-day full programme with expert guides, modern private coach, accommodation (3 nights), meals.

Start: 11th June 2020 in the morning, Palanga, Lithuania
End: 14th June 2020 in the evening, Tallinn, Estonia

The number of participants is limited to 25 people. Pre-registration (deadline 15 March 2020) is required during the online-registration for the whole Congress.

When travelling by plane, we recommend choosing the Palanga International Airport (Lithuania) as your destination airport.

During the tour we will visit pristine mires and wetland complexes, peat extraction as well as peatland restoration and reclamation areas while driving through the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The tour will provide insight into different mire types in the Baltic states. Special attention will be given to the restoration efforts aiming to achieve favourable conservation status of different mire habitats.

In Lithuania, the participants will be shown various restoration projects at Ramsar sites. First, the unique mires in the Nemunas Delta will be visited. Restoration using Sphagnum farming approach in the Aukštumala peatland will be presented, followed by an enjoyable Klasmann-Deilmann Šilutė’s train ride to the pristine part of the bog.

Also, the Tyrai coastal fen, which is the most important vulnerable Aquatic Warbler breeding site in Lithuania will be explored.

On the way to Latvia, a glimpse to a typical raised bog of Kamanos Strict Nature Reserve inhabited by golden plovers is caught. Kamanos is the largest raised bog in northern Lithuania region with ridge-pool complexes and numerous small lakes surrounded by wet forests.

In Latvia, one of the largest peat harvesting companies in the country, Laflora Ltd. that is known for its responsible peatland management, is visited. Different reclamation efforts will be demonstrated in former peat extraction fields – from berry growing and afforestation to paludiculture and apiculture (bees, bumblebees) cultivation. Afterwards, the effect of peatlands on climate change will be discussed by the scientists of the Latvian State Forest Research Institute Silava and the measurements of greenhouse gas emissions will be demonstrated. The well-preserved mire of Cenas tīrelis will be explored by hiking with bog shoes. 

The tour will end in Estonia where the pearl of the preserved natural wetland complex – Soomaa National Park is visited. “Soomaa” means the land of mires in Estonian and the National Park has been established for the protection of large bogs, flooded meadows, forests and cultural heritage in the south-western part of Central Estonia.

We will walk along the Ingatsi nature trail through a floodplain forest, followed by exploring the Kuresoo restoration area, which is the first holistic restoration project of degraded bog communities in Estonia.

On the way to Tallinn, a species-rich alkaline fen will be visited in mid-western Estonia.

Contact: Kaie Kriiska, Estonian Peat Association,

Leaders: Nerijus Zableckis (Lithuanian Fund for Nature), Jūratė Sendžikaitė (Lithuanian Fund for Nature, Nature Research Centre), Anda Zālmane (Latvian Peat Association), Ingrīda Krīgere (Latvian Peat Association, IPS), Jüri-Ott Salm & Eerik Leibak (Estonian Fund for Nature)

II IPS pre-tour in Finland

Date: 11–13th June 2020
Price: 290 €
Price includes 3-day full programme with expert guides, modern private coach, accommodation (2 nights), meals.

There number of participants is limited to 30 people. Pre-registration (deadline 15 March 2020) is requested during the online registration for the whole Congress.

The tour will start at the Häme nature centre where an overview of peatlands in Finland is given, followed by visiting different sites of agricultural peatlands (used for growing willow, bilberry, cereals) while the paludiculture is introduced. The evening will be spent at the pristine raised bog complex of Torronsuo National Park.

During the next days, LUKE’s peatland forestry experimental sites are visited and the climate impact of these sites are discussed. At the Hyytiäla Forestry Field Station, located in the middle of forests and peatlands, several aspects of Earth system ranging from the depths of soil to atmospheric processes are covered. In addition, traditional Finnish sauna and swimming in the lake can be enjoyed.

At the Lakkasuo mire complex, including drained and undrained areas, carbon cycle and global climate change experiments and peatland forestry is introduced. Also, the topic of peat and novel peat products will be presented by the Bioenergy Association of Finland.

A short visit will be made to the Sammalistonsuo bird watching and game wetlands on a former peat extraction area at Riihimäki.


A detailed programme will be provided in mid-January 2020.

Contact: Hannu Salo, Finnish Peatland Society – Suoseura,

Leaders: Tapio Lindholm (Finnish Environment Institute SYKE), Harri Vasander (University of Helsinki), Raisa Mäkipää (Natural Resources Institute Finland LUKE), Tuula Larmola (Finnish Peatland Society), Hannu Salo (The Bioenergy Association of Finland)