Everyone’s right in Norway, Sweden and Finland is a right that you can enjoy during your holiday. It is a unique right in these countries. Everyone’s right (Finnish: jokamiehenoikeus) gives you the right to enjoy the overwhelming nature everywhere. That sounds nice, but of course there are a number of rules.
Very briefly summarized; disturb nothing and destroy nothing.
A tradition of the right of man gives people unparalleled opportunities to explore nature and enjoy the abundance of the forest. Nearly 90 percent of Finland’s surface is covered by the law of universal rights and can be used for recreational enjoyment of the outdoors. Everyone’s rights also apply to visitors from abroad. The use of natural areas does not require the consent of the landowner, and the privileges enshrined in the universal right are not subject to the payment of any compensation. Everyone is free to pick wild berries, mushrooms and plants, with the exception of some species protected by law.
Many herbs do not fall under the scope of the ‘Everyman’s Right’ tradition. Think of tree leaves, shoots, shrubs, lichens, mosses, bark, willows, coniferous cones and special natural products such as sap and the inner layers of pine bark. For these natural products, permission must always be obtained from the land owner before use. This restriction also applies to the collection of natural products on government plots.
The privilege of everyone’s right also comes with a responsibility to the environment. It is prohibited to cause damage to nature by leaving litter or vandalism, these are criminal offences. Nature is sensitive and renews itself slowly, so those who go through it must take care not to disturb the delicate balance.
- Collect wild berries, mushrooms, flowers and most herbaceous plants; rowan and juniper berries can also be collected;
- Remove pine cones, dry twigs or other such natural products from the ground;
- Walk, ski or cycle anywhere except on cultivated land or in gardens or yards;
- Temporary transit and camping on other people’s land;
- Fishing with worms and ice fishing;
- Boating, swimming and washing in inland waters or the sea.
- Removing bark, branches, leaves, resin, sap or cones from a growing or fallen tree;
- Removing moss, lichen, wood, shrubs or peat from other people’s land;
- Traverse and spend the night on cultivated land or in one’s garden;
- Lighting an open fire on someone else’s property without permission;
- Leaving litter behind;
- Hunting without permission;
- Driving a motor vehicle on marked tracks or roads without the permission of the landowner.
Take only memories,
Leave only your footprints.