Everyman’s rights and obligations also apply at sea

In Finland, everyman’s rights permit everyone to freely roam the countryside, regardless of who owns the area. Nature can also be respectfully used for recreational purposes such as camping.

Berries, mushrooms and fast-growing plant parts can be picked for consumption -dandelions grow back in no time, while the orpine populations of rocky shores are easily damaged by harvesting. Fish can be caught with a line and a rod and, in wintertime, through a hole in the ice.  

Everyman’s obligation, then, is to leave no trace of your visit in the nature. When traversing the wilds, we must not unreasonably strain the environment, destroy vegetation, leave garbage behind or disturb the animals or other people.  

Additionally everyman’s rights do not apply to private properties, planted green spaces or cultivated fields. Everyman’s rights are often also restricted in protected areas, the Åland Islands and other special areas. 

 A baby seagull among rocks along the shoreline.
Do not disturb the animals –the mother of a seemingly abandoned baby bird is probably nearby!

Everyman’s rights and the Water Act permit various activities at sea and inland waters 

 A smoking tree trunk on the ground among sparse undergrowth.
An open fire carries the risk of a forest fire – always ask for the landowner’s permission before starting a campfire.

Everyman’s rights are more restricted in the Åland Islands than in Sweden and Mainland Finland

Regulations are particularly strict in the fragile nature conservation areas of the Archipelago Sea, as several bird species depend on the various islets and islands of the area for nesting. During specific times, it is not permitted to go ashore in these areas. 

The website of the government of Åland offers the most up-to-date information about everyman’s rights and the numerous nature conservation sites of the Åland Islands, as well as the rules of every nature conservation site and a list of prohibited areas. Läs mer!