Known as “everyman’s right” in Finland, people are free to roam public and private lands for recreation or exercise, even to camp, fish, boat and pick nature’s bounty. However, there are some rules, and five common mistakes people make when exercising this right.
The extensive freedom to roam, known in Finnish as “jokamiehenoikeus” and “allemansrätten” in Swedish (literally “everyman’s right”) also comes with responsibilities. Chief among these are to not disturb others, to cause no harm to the natural environment, nor to wildlife, domestic animals or crops.
Anne Rautiainen is an expert with Suomen Latu – the Outdoor Association of Finland who travels the country explaining these rights to interested audiences. She says that some people unwittingly abuse their right to roam through ignorance of the law and some because of indifference.
According to Rautiainen, the five most common mistakes could be avoided by learning some simple rules, and by simply caring.