Garden policy: FINLAND


 Institution(s) in charge

  • Ministry of Education and Culture, Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriö
    According to the Government Rules of Procedure, the mandate of the Ministry of Education and Culture covers including culture and the archival, museum and public library systems.
  • National Board of Antiquities, Museovirasto
    Finland's National Board of Antiquities works to promote the conservation, sustainable use and greater recognition of cultural heritage. The National Board of Antiquities preserves, collects, studies and displays items and artefacts that represent cultural heritage of national importance (including parks and gardens). It produces information about cultural environments and artefacts that is made available for everyone.
  • Ministry of Environment, Ympäristöministeriö
    The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for preparing matters to be submitted for consideration by the Government and Parliament, such as matters concerning communities, the built environment including cultural heritage, housing, biodiversity, sustainable use of natural resources and environmental protection.
  • Local authorities (municipalities, city museums, provincial museums) 
    Municipalities are responsible for many gardens and park targets.  Municipalities are responsible for the local protection of the gardens and parks. City museums and provincial museums direct and advise care and protection of valuable parks and gardens. 


 Other actors

Other Institutions in charge of gardens 

REGIONAL COUNCILS (regional planning, More about land use planning system.) 


There is a museum garden on the courtyard of many museums. For example Kenkävero, Louhisaari, Herttoniemi and Hvitträsk.     


  • The Archaeological Society of Finland, Suomen arkeologinen seura   
  • The Association of Municipal Green Area Managers, Kaupunginpuutarhurien seura ry  
  • Society for Culture Environment Studies,  Kulttuuriympäristötutkimuksen seura ry   
  • DOCOMOMO Suomi Finland ry  
  • Finnish Dendrological Society, Dendrologian seura  
  • Finnish Association of Architects (SAFA), Suomen Arkkitehtiliitto  (SAFA)   
  • The Finnish Association of Landscape Industries, Viherympäristöliitto ry Membership associations (10) (in Finnish): Viherympäristöliiton jäsenyhdistykset, For Example Society for Landscape Planners, Maisemasuunnittelijat ry   
  • Finnish Local Heritage Federation, Suomen kotiseutuliitto   
  • The Finnish Society for Urban Studies,  Suomen kaupunkitutkimuksen seura
  • the Finnish Tree Care Association, Suomen puunhoidonyhdistys ry
  • Garden Society, Puutarhataiteen seura ry  
  • The Association of Useful Plants, Hyötykasviyhdistys  
  • International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Finnish national committee ICOMOS Finland, ICOMOS Suomen osasto r.y.    
  • Friends of the Botanical Garden, Kasvitieteellisen puutarhan ystävät ry  
  • LUVA Natural Resources, LUVA Luonnonvarat   
  • Union for Rural Culture and Education, Maaseudun sivistysliitto   
  • The Martha Organization, Martat   
  • ProAgria  
  • The Central Organization for Finnish Horticulture,  Puutarhaliitto  
  • Membership Organisations (in Finnish), Puutarhaliiton jäsenjärjestöjä  
  • for Example: Finnish Garden Women Association, Puutarhanaiset ry (in Finnish) The Federation of Finnish Allotment Gardens, Suomen siirtolapuutarhaliitto  
  • The Garden Construction Workers, Puutarharakentajat ry  
  • The Finnish Architecture Society, Rakennustaiteen seura  
  • Rural Women’s Advisory Organisation, Maa- ja kotitalousnaiset  
  • Gardeners of Congregations, Seurakuntapuutarhurit  
  • The Society for Art History in Finland, Taidehistorian seura   
  • The Society for Regional and Environmental Studies, Alue- ja ympräistötutkimuksen seura    
  • The Association of Cultural Heritage Education in Finland, Suomen kulttuuriperintökasvatuksen seura  
  • Finnish Association of Landscape Architects (MARK), Suomen maisemaarkkitehtiliitto ry  MARK  
  • Urban Academy, Kaupunkiakatemia    
  • The association of the teacher of gardening, Viher- ja puutarha-alan opettajayhdistys ry VIPU   
  • Finnish Landscape Contractors Association, Viher- ja ympäristörakentajat ry 
  • Finnish Society of Urban Planning,  Yhdyskuntasuunnittelun seura  
  • The Finnish 4H organisation  
  • The Finnish Landrace Association Maatiainen


  • The Aspegren Garden Foundation,  Aspegrenin puutarhasäätiö    
  • Nikolai and Ludmila Borisoff Garden Foundation, Nikolai ja Ludmila Borisoffin puutarhasäätiö  
  • Maiju and Yrjö Rikala Garden Foundation
  • The Finnish Cultural Heritage Foundation


 Relevant legislation

  • The Land Use and Building Act, Maankäyttö- ja rakennuslaki 1999
    Land Use and Building Act is the most important and generally used instrument for protect parks and gardens. The Land Use and Building Act directs regional planning, master planning and detailed town planning. The majority of protected parks and gardens have been protected with detailed town plan. More about land use planning system.  
  • Land Use and Building Decree, Maankäyttö- ja rakennusasetus 1999
  • National land use guidelines, Valtakunnalliset alueidenkäyttötavoitteet 2000
  • The Antiquities Act, Muinaismuistolaki  1963
  • Act on the Protection of Built Heritage, Laki rakennusperinnön suojelemisesta (in Finnish) 2010
  • Decree on the State-owned Buildings, Asetus valtion omistamien rakennusten suojelusta (in Finnish)
    Several buildings, groups of buildings and built areas owned by the state have been protected by the Decree on the State-owned Buildings. Though abolished in 2010, the protection under this Decree is still valid.
  • Railway agreement, Rautatiesopimus (in Finnish) 1998  
  • Act on the Orthodox Church, Laki ortodoksisesta kirkosta (in Finnish) 2007 
  • The Church Act, Kirkkolaki  (in Finnish) 1993
  • Nature Conservation Act, Luonnonsuojelulaki 1996


 Protection measures

The total number of protected gardens and parks in Finland is not available. Parks and gardens are mainly protected locally in town plans. Some of the gardens and parks are private, some are public. (Protection system) 

The Land Use and Building Act (1999)

It is the most important instrument for protect gardens and parks. The majority of protected parks and gardens have protected with detailed plans. The plans made by the towns, regional councils and local authorities has not been nationally listed. Total numbers of protected parks and gardens in Finland are unknown.

Chapter 9. National Urban Parks:

”A national urban park may be established to protect and maintain the beauty of the cultural or natural landscape, historical characteristics or related values concerning the townscaping, social, recreational or other special values of an area in an urban environment." 

National Urban Parks were awarded European Garden Heritage Network Prize in 2014.   

  • Hämeenlinna National Urban Park, Hämeenlinnan kansallinen kaupunkipuisto  
  • Heinola National Urban Park, Heinolan kansallinen kaupunkipuisto (in Finnish)
  • Pori National Urban Park, Porin kansallinen kaupunkipuisto  
  • Hanko National Urban Park, Hangon kansallinen kaupunkipuisto (in Finnish)
  • Porvoo National Urban Park,  Porvoon kansallinen kaupunkipuisto  
  • Turku National Urban Park,  Turun kansallinen kaupunkipuisto  
  • Kotka National Urban Park, Kotkan kansallinen kaupunkipuisto (in Finnish)
  • Forssa National Urban Park, Forssan kansallinen kaupunkipuisto (in Finnish)

National land use guidelines (2000)

They are a part of the land use planning system under The Land Use and Building Act. The land use guidelines intend to ensure the preservation of values of nationally important heritage sites and landscapes. The inventory ”Cultural Heritage Sites of National Significance (RKY 2009)” must be taken into account as a starting point for regional land use planning. RKY2009 has been carried out and published on internet (in Finnish) by the National Board of Antiquities. 

The total number of RKY-inventory sites is 1258. The number of significant parks in this inventory is 28 and the total number of sites including park, garden, cemetery and yard is over 700. 

Inventory of nationally valuable landscape areas (1995) is currently being updated and the selection of areas and the definitions are being reviewed.

The Antiquities Act i

It is also an important instrument in protecting gardens and parks.  

The Antiquities Act does not know historical gardens as such.  The protection which is in accordance with the Antiquities Act would be extended to the old structures of the gardens of the sites such as manor houses and parsonages. 

Inventoried archaeologic sites have been listed and published on internet (in Finnish) by the National Board of Antiquities. Kulttuuriympäristön palveluikkuna, Arkeologiset kohteet.  The problem is that gardens and parks have not been separated in lists. 

The number of archaeological sites which may include gardens or parks:

The number of parks and gardens: 7

The total number of sites (manors, towns, parsonages, canals, cemeteries and graveyards of the Orhodox Church) which may include park, garden, cemetery and/or yard: over 400

The Act on the Protection of Built Heritage: 

One can protect planted areas by the Act on the Protection of Built Heritage. Total number of protected buildings and sites is 315. Some of the protected built areas include a courtyard and/or a garden. 

The Church Act and Act on the Orthodox Church

Graveyards and churchyards are important phenomena among Finnish parks. The Cemeteries Act prescribes the establishment, maintenance and care of all kinds of graveyards. 

As cultural environments graveyards are usually protected by local detailed plans based on the Land Use and Building Act. Churchyards are included in the sites protected by the Church Act (total 550) and by Act on the Orthodox Church (total 20) if the church has been built before 1917. Sites constructed after 1917 may also be protected on the grounds of a separate decision.

The Church Act does not apply to cemeteries which are built apart from the church buildings. These cemeteries are protected with the detailed plan – or by the Antiquities Act if the cemetery is not under the care of congregation.

Decree on the State-owned Buildings

Total 207

Railway agreement

Total 114 

Parks and gardens have typically been part of old railway communities in Finland.

Parks have also been an important part of railway stations and their surroundings. 

UNESCO World Heritage in Finland

Petäjävesi Old Church, Burial ground   

Fortress of Suomenlinna, includes several parks 

Old Rauma   

An inventory of the courtyards and gardens and their vegetation is currently being done in the old town of Rauma. Vanhassa Raumassa on käynnissä pihoja ja niiden kasvillisuutta kartoittava selvitystyö. (in Finnish) (15.-21.6.2017)  

Verla Groundwood and Board Mill  

“A colourful garden was laid out round the house, along with a bowling pavilion and a hexagonal shed for the fire-fighting equipment.”

Botanical Gardens in Finland, Suomen kasvitieteelliset puutarhat  

Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden  

Kumpula Botanic Garden  

Jyväskylä, Botania  

Jyväskylä University Museum, Botanical Garden  

Pietarsaari, School Park Botanical Garden  

Mustila Arboretum  

University of Turku, Botanical Garden  

University of Oulu, Botanical gardens   

Rauma Seminar Garden  


 Existing inventories


    Garden Society and Turku University, Faculty of Humanities: Sustainable Historic Park management and Development in Finland and Estonia 2009-2012. (DEVEPARK inventory Hartikainen, Merja & Heinonen, Maarit & Roth, Urmas: Report on historic gardens’ inventories in Finland and in Estonia. (Abstract in English)
  • Cultural environment by National Board of Antiquities. Kulttuuriympäristön palveluikkuna (in Finnish) 
  • Garden designs in collections of the museum. 
    Museum of Finnish Architecture: Garden architecture and landscape architecture.
    Arkkitehtuurimuseo. Puutarha- ja maisema-arkkitehtuuri. Puutarhasuunnitelmat museon kokoelmissa. (in Finnish)
  • RKY inventory
    National Land Use Guidelines direct the land use planning. Guidelines require to use the RKY inventory. The RKY areas have to be taken into consideration the planning of the use of land. Valtakunnallisesti merkittävä rakennettu kulttuuriympäristö. (in Finnish)
  • Our cultural environment.
    Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Environment, National Board of Antiquities; Kulttuuriympäristömme  (in Finnish)


  • Anttila, Mikko (toim.): Puukaupunkien pihat ja aidat.  Museoviraston korjauskortisto. 2000. (in Finnish)
  • DIVE. Kulttuuriympäristön analyysi. Opas DIVE menetelmän käyttöön. 2013.
  • Tuominen, Laura (toim.): Hautausmaiden inventointiopas. Museovirasto. Helsinki. 2015. (in Finnish)
  • Flink, Selja & Kilpelä, Niina (toim.): Samasta ovesta. Saavutettavia kulttuurihistoriallisia kohteita. Kynnys ry. Museovirasto. Helsinki. 2012. (in Finnish)
  • Guide on archaeologic cultural heritage: gardens. National Board of Antiquities. Arkeologisen kulttuuriperinnön opas, puutarha. Museovirasto. (in Finnish)
  • Gardens and Parks of Railway Stations, Aseman puisto ja piha (in Finnish)
  • Hautamäki, Ranja: Portti puutarhaan. Historiallisten puutarhojen inventointiopas. Museovirasto. MROJ 21. 2000. (in Finnish)
  • The Land Use and Building Act. Detailed Plan, notes and regulations. Ministry of Environment.  
  • Maankäyttö- ja rakennuslaki. Asemakaavamerkinnät ja -määräykset. Rakennettu kulttuuriympäristö ja muinaismuistot. Ympäristöministeriö. (in Finnish)
  • Niukkanen, Marianne: Historiallisen ajan kiinteät muinaisjäännökset.
  • Tunnistaminen ja suojelu. Museovirasto. Rakennushistorian osasto. 2009. 
  • Pyykkönen, Teijo (toim.): Liikuntaympäristöt kulttuuriperintönä. Opas arviointiin. Museovirasto. Helsinki. 2013. (in Finnish)
  • RT 99-11119 Infra 23-710115. Historiallisten puistojen ja puutarhojen suojelu, hoito ja kunnostus. 2013. (in Finnish)
  • Sahlberg, Marja (toim.): Talon tarinat. Rakennushistorian selvitysopas. 2010. (in Finnish)
  • Heikkilä, Elisa & Tuominen, Laura & Ikkala, Marja-Leena (toim.):
  • Sankarihautausmaiden perinne, hoito ja kunnostus. Museovirasto. Helsinki. 2008. (in Finnish)


  • is an online service which provides free access to material from Finnish museums, libraries and archives. Finna  
  • The Journalistic Press Photo Archive JOKA offers news, entertainment, cultural and sports photographs from the past available for everyone to view. The Journalistic Picture Archive, Journalistinen kuva-arkisto
  • Web service for the Picture Collections of the National Board of Antiquities (in English), (in Finnish)


  • The Garden Society: Garden travelling in Finland. Puutarhataiteen seura: Puutarhamatkailu.
  • Finland’s arboretums Luettelo Suomen arboretumeista (in Finnish)


 Online information


 Specialised training

Ministry of Environment and the Society for Culture Environment Studies have produced a preliminary report on research within the field of cultural environments in Finland. This report contains a lot of information on training, also training connected with gardens and greenery. (in Finnish)

Kulttuuriympäristöalan tutkimus Suomessa. Esiselvitys. Ympäristöministeriö. Kulttuuriympäristötutkimuksen seura ry.   

Tajakka, Hanna: Strategy for the development of vocational education and training in horticulture 2014-2034. Finnish National Agency for Education.

Puutarha-alan ammatillisen koulutuksen kehitysstrategia 2014-2034. Opetushallitus. 2014 (in Finnish); Summary in English.


Aalto University  

Department of Architecture  (architecture and landscape architecture)

Department of Built Environment  

University of Eastern Finland

School of Humanities

Department of Geographical and Historical Studies

University of Helsinki

The Department of Geosciences and Geography

Faculty of Arts   

The Department of Environmental Sciences

Centre for Tourism Studies

University of Jyväskylä

Department of History and Ethnology

Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies

University of Lapland

Faculty of Art and Design

University of Oulu

Oulu School of Architecure

Faculty of Humanities

Faculty of Science           

Tampere University of Technoloy


Faculty of Social Sciences

University of Turku

Faculty of Humanities

Cultural Production and Landscape Studies  

Department of Geography and Geology


Häme University of Applied Sciences   

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences    

Oulu University of Applied Sciences  


 Awareness-raising actions


  • The Green Year. Annual event, national.  Vihervuosi 2016.
  • Suomi Finland 100.
    Many garden and park events. Suomi 100 Puutarhatapahtumia  
    for example: In search the Best Parks in Finland. Haussa Suomen parhaat puistot. 2017. 
  • Open Gardens.
    Annual event, national. Avoimet puutarhat –tapahtuma.  
    for example Verla. Esimerkiksi Verlan puutarha.   


DEVEPARK. Garden Society and Turku University, Faculty of Humanities: Sustainable Historic Park management and Development in Finland and Estonia 2009-2012.

Puutarhataiteen seura ja Turun yliopiston humanistinen tiedekunta: Historiallisten puistojen kestävä kehittäminen ja hoito Suomessa ja Virossa 2009-2012.  

European Garden Heritage Network (EGHN): Hybrid Parks Interred IVC.   

Natural Resources Institute Finland. National Gene Allowance program. (in Finnish):

GeenivaraOppi –hanke. Kasvigeenivaraohjelma.   

for Example Yläne Traditional Garden Project. (in Finnish) Yläne Perinnekasvimaahanke.  

The Finnish Association of Landscape Industries: Sustainable environment building project 20152016. (in Finnish): Viherympäristöliitto ry: KESY, Kestävä ympäristörakentaminen 2015-2016.  

Heirloom plants in museum garden. Development project from introduction of the biological cultural heritage in Southwest Finland. 

Maa- ja elintarviketalouden tutkimuskeskus MTT.

Perinnekasvit museopuutarhassa. Kehittämishanke biologisen kulttuuriperinnön esilletuomisesta Varsinais-Suomessa. (in Finnish)

Heinonen, Maarit et. all.: Museum garden. Establishment and care. 2014.

Museopuutarha. Perustaminen ja hoito. 2014. (in Finnish)

The Finnish Association of Landscape Industries: KESY-project. Sustainable environment building. 2016-2017. (in Finnish)

Viherympäristöliitto: KESY-hanke. Kestävä ympäristörakentaminen.  2016-2017.


HERITAGE FARMS (Metsähallitus)

Korteniemi Heritage Farm  

Kovero Heritage Farm

Telkkämäki Heritage Farm

Museum of Central Finland: Garden Stories. 2016-2017

Keksi-Suomen museo: Puutarhatarinoita. (in Finnish)

Perspectives on garden culture in Tampere Region.

Ikkunoita Pirkanmaalaiseen puutarhakulttuuriin.  (in Finnish)


 Terminology tools

Only few Finnish terminologies on gardens and parks exist at the moment. Terminologies on heritage related issues contain terms on gardens and green areas.


Archeology, Arkeologia (in Finnish)

Botany, Kasvitiede (in Finnish)



Natural resource and environment ontology: AFO - Luonnonvara- ja ympäristöontologia  

Names of plants in Finnish: KASSU - Kasvien suomenkieliset sanat  

Ontology for the Study of Cultures: KULO - Kulttuurien tutkimuksen ontologia  

Ontology for Museum Domain and Applied Arts: MAO/TAO - Museologian ja taideteollisuusalan ontologia    


The DEVEPARK project: Finnish-Estonian-English park terminology. (in Finnish)

Park and garden lexicon have been collected in the project called Perinnekasvit

museopuutarhassa. Kehittämishanke biologisen kulttuuriperinnön esilletuomisesta VarsinaisSuomessa. (in Finnish)

(Tradition plants in museum garden. Development project from introduction of the biological cultural heritage in Southwest Finland.)

Lexicon in the end of the report: Heinonen, Maarit et. all.: Museopuutarha. Perustaminen ja hoito. MTT. 2014. (in Finnish))


Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Environment: The cultural environment strategy 2014–2020.

Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriö. Ympäristöministeriö. Kulttuuriympäristöstrategia Valtioneuvoston periaatepäätös 20.3.2014.