We at Wunder have a long history and tradition for giving a Holiday Season Donation – to cheer up our stakeholders and share some good spirits. Since growing together, sustainability and collaboration are in our value DNA, donating to ensure the preservation of a rare, untouched forest in Inari, Lapland felt really natural to us. And yes, we admit that the breathtaking scenery and the name, Čáháligvääri (Maahisenvaara, Gnome Hill) that honors the Sámi culture, Lapland’s magic and “creatures of the forest” made us fall in love with this particular and rare forest estate.
Nature whispering from thousands of years ago
The Čáháligvääri forest is one of the last remaining, untouched natural forests in Europe. This forest has existed free from human intervention since the ice age. The growth rings on the oldest pine trees that have been studied in Upper Lapland go back almost 8,000 years. These ancient trees have been found in the bottom of lakes, where they were preserved in the mud.
The thousand-year-old natural forests on the northern shores of Lake Inari are not just a wilderness; they are also used as pasture land for the Muddusjärvi reindeer herding cooperative and are part of the Sámi cultural landscape. The old forests with their arboreal lichen are extremely important for the survival of the reindeer over winter.
The etymology of the name
In Sami mythology, the Inari Sami word Čáhálig refers to a forest spirit that guards the treasure, and you had to ask its permission before you could pitch camp in the forest.
If you wish to learn more about The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation or about Čáháligvääri, please do visit their site. But be aware, you also might end up saving some rare forests.