Åland Islands Facts
Åland, Finnish territority, self-governing archipelago and landscapes in the Baltic Sea, Finland. Åland comprises about 6,500 islands and islets; 1,552 km2, 29 511 inhabitants (2018). On the main island, called Fasta Åland, lies the capital Mariehamn and the municipalities Lemland, Jomala, Hammarland, Finström, Geta, Saltvik and Sund. This also often includes Eckerö in the west and Lumparland in the east. Archipelago municipalities east of Fast Åland are Vårdö, Kumlinge, Brändö, Föglö, Sottunga and Kökar. According to international agreements, Åland is a demilitarized area with autonomy and Swedish as the only official language.
The flag was officially established in 1954 but has been used in an earlier version since 1922. It is a variant of the Swedish flag where the yellow cross is coated with a narrower red cross. The colors are a combination of the colors of the Åland landscape coat of arms (blue and yellow) and Finland’s coat of arms (red and yellow).
Terrain shapes and bedrock
The archipelago is separated from Finland by the Sea Bay Shift (in the Archipelago Sea) and from Sweden by the South Kvarken and the Åland Sea. The islands are divided into the main island of Fasta Åland and the Åland archipelago with approximately 6,500 islands and islands.
Åland is characterized by a small hilly lowland, usually lower than 30 m above sea level. In the north, the main island is considerably higher; Orrdalsklint, which is highest, reaches 129 m above sea level. Aland has, as a whole, risen from the sea as a whole after the ice age. Traces of this can be found in the form of several powerful pebble fields at different levels. Through the continuous land rise, the surface of Åland is growing significantly; over the past 800 years it has grown by 50%. The coast is strongly disrupted with deeply penetrating bays, which continue as shorter valleys on land. A large wealth of cracks in the bedrock, mainly in the north-south direction, gives a typical crack valley topography with elongated valleys and ridge ridges.
The bedrock is dominated by the red-brown rapakivigranite along with quartz spore lighthouse. In the archipelago islands to the east, the rock species dominate leptite and migmatite. In the Lumparn Bay, younger sedimentary rocks occur. On the main island, the soil is calcareous, on the other islands lean.
Due to the surrounding sea, Åland has a temperate climate with a maritime feel. The coldest month, February, has an average temperature of –2 ° C in the west and –3 ° C in the east. The average temperature in July is 16-17 ° C. The annual rainfall is about 650 mm; most fall in August, least in March.
Åland has a very diverse plant life. To this is added the hilly terrain, the numerous islands with the long shoreline and not least the favorable climate. The flora is extremely rich with more than 800 species of vascular plants.
In the north there are coniferous forest areas, where, however, the forest has largely been harvested. Idegran occurs in several places. The island’s deciduous forests contain noble deciduous trees, such as elm, ash, oak, lime and maple. Other deciduous trees are finnoxel, hawk, oxel, rowan and wild apple. Klibbal is common, even on drier soils, while gray eel is rare. Hassellundar with rich soil vegetation of i.a. sips are fairly common. There are many different types of meadows in Åland, ranging from shore meadows to dry meadows on higher ground. They are often very rich with more moist meadows, for example. majviva and moose and on drier meadows eg. blood fist, leotard and meadow oats. Åland has both nutritious and nutrient-poor lakes.
Åland, which is located in Finland’s southernmost plant geographic belt, houses about fifty vascular plants that are completely missing on mainland Finland, such as puffins, soft fist, salted herb, large fat bud and spring vetch.
Of mammals there are moose, deer (dense trunk), red fox, woodland, small weasel, squirrel, forest hare and hedgehog. Mårdhund, white-tailed deer and badger have recently immigrated. Otter and hermelin are now very few. Gray seals are numerous, but even weevils are seen regularly.
325 bird species have been observed, almost half of which breed regularly. Character species include rose fines and nightingales, and there are comparatively large populations of, among other things. sea eagles, black and thunder mule and a few significant colonies of cliff tern. In spring and autumn, Åland is passed by large bird migrations, and many temporary, mainly eastern species are seen. Bird stations are located at Lågskär and Signilskär.
Among hermit and crabs, hazelnuts can be mentioned. Strumming and salmon, previously also cod, are most important for commercial fishing. Åland has biological stations on Husö and Nåtö.
There are 39 nature reserves in Åland, of which Nåtö and Björkör can be mentioned.