Everyman's rights

Public access rights, or so-called everyman's rights, refer to the right of everyone in Finland to enjoy outdoor pursuits regardless of who owns or occupies an area. You do not need the landowner's permission, and there is no charge. However, you must not damage the environment or disturb others while exercising public access rights.

The large areas of forests and fells and sparse population in Finland provide an excellent setting for exercising public access rights. Public access rights are granted, guided or restricted by various laws.

photo: Mikko Kuusinen
photo: Mikko Kuusinen

Everyman's rights in a nutshell

You may

  • walk, ski or cycle in areas outside private gardens and land that is in a specific use (for example cultivated fields and plantations)
  • stay for a short period in any area where access is otherwise allowed (for example put up a tent, but not too close to people's homes)
  • pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers
  • fish with a rod and line, and through a hole in the ice in wintertime
  • boat when the water is melt or walk on the ice in wintertime.

You may not

  • disturb other people or damage the environment
  • disturb nesting birds or game
  • cut down or damage trees
  • collect moss, lichen, soil or wood
  • disturb the privacy of homes
  • litter
  • drive a motor vehicle off the road without the landowner's permission
  • fish and hunt without the appropriate permits.

More information

Further information

Miliza Malmelin, Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Environment, tel. + 358 2952 50176, firstname.lastname@ym.fi

Published 2013-12-13 at 12:19, updated 2020-10-08 at 14:45