The Säkylänharju to Virttaankangas region is characterised by pine forest groves, which change from their fringes as you move towards the damper, spruce dominated ridge edge. The Virttaankangas region is a southern boreal coniferous forest zone and belongs in the forest vegetation belt of southwest Finland, which is a particularly favourable area for vegetation growth. On the ridge, the forest vegetation is very dry due to the soil and thus much of the forest vegetation on the ridge is of a dry forest type.
There are many flower species identified with ridge vegetation: angular Solomon’s seal, spotted cat’s ear and Teesdale violet are found extensively. Breckland thyme grows in several places along forest tracks. They are the area’s signature plants, particularly on the north-western ridge.
The lake scenery around Virttaankangas features only one small lake called Kankaanjärvi, which was formed in a hollow that is about 15 meters lower than the rest of the surrounding area.
The area’s original scenery has given way to local roads, forest roads, vehicle trails, outdoor trails, sapling stands and gravel pits. All the forests in the area are in commercial use and there are no remaining areas that can be classified as old forest.
The average temperature around Virttaankangas is + 4 ° C. The thermal growing season (daily average temperature over + 5 C) is 170 days in length and has an average of 600-650 mm of precipitation. The annual precipitation will see 30-40 % fall as snow. The thickness of snow cover in Western Finland is less than 40 cm average, but on the ridge it is usually deeper. On the ridge slopes, the snow melts at different times and clearings can already have spring flowers while areas in shadow will still be covered with snow.
Woodlark: Jari Peltomäki
Pine forest: Juha Kääriä