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Everyman’s rights and responsibilities

 

Everyman's rights apply in Finland and the other Nordic countries. Everyman's rights refer to an individual's right to travel in nature regardless of who owns or holds the land. In addition to berry and mushroom picking and hiking, everyman's rights give you, for example, the right to climb or establish a geocache.

Everyman's rights apply in almost 90% of Finland. Only authorities can assign an area to be excluded from everyman's rights. Reasons may include the conservation of a particularly delicate site or military use of the area. At Rovaniemi, areas excluded from everyman's rights are Rovajärvi Military Firing Range with restricted access and Pisavaara Strict Nature Reserve, which cannot be accessed without a separate permit.

Everyman's rights give you the right to

– travel in nature by your own means, that is by foot, skiing or cycling
– reside temporarily – for example camping – where it is also allowed to travel
– pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers
– travel, swim and wash yourself in bodies of water and travel on ice, fish and ice fish.

As always, rights come with responsibilities. Everyman's rights must be used in a manner that causes no harm or damage.

Everyman's rights do not give you the right to

– cause a disturbance or harm others, for example, by camping too near to dwellings
– disturb or damage animals or litter the surroundings
– fell or farm growing trees, take dried or fallen wood, sprigs, moss, etc. from someone else's land
– travel in gardens or such fields, meadows or plantations that can be harmed by such travelling
– make an open fire on someone else's land without permission
– drive in the terrain with a motor vehicle without the landowner's permission
– fish and hunt without the appropriate permits
– let a dog in a public beach, children's playgrounds, maintained ski tracks or sports fields or the let the dog run unleashed in populated areas, fitness paths or someone else's area

Read more about everyman's rights (PDF)