Current issue: 56(2)
According to the second National Forest Survey, peatlands covered before the World War II 11,156,000 hectares, 32% of the land area of Finland. The early drainage of peatlands in 1700th century had aimed at preventing frost and increasing area of agricultural land. The experiences proved that drainage of wet forests was lucrative also in the point of view of forestry. The drainage of state-owned forest lands was promoted by the Crown Forest Committee in its report in 1900. The systematic drainage work in state lands begun in 1909. In the end of 1920s 500-700 km of ditches was dug annually.
The drainage of private lands begun after 1928, when forestry promotion work in private forests begun. By the end of 1950, 4,815 forest drainage projects had been approved by the Forest Service in the private lands. In addition, 286,000 ha of peatlands was drained on work organized by the central forest associations in 1930-1950, and 239,272 ha by timber companies in 1902-1950. The drained area totalled 755,892 ha. The area of drainable and drained peatland was estimated to be 4.4 million ha.
The article includes an abstract in English.