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The city suspends building health trails in the Sütiste forest

The proposed health trail in the Sütiste forest park on the border of Nõmme and Mustamäe will not be built. Further development of the Sütiste forest will be decided by the property's manager, the Estonian Environmental Board.

According to Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet, the construction of health trails in Sütiste forest has been suspended for a while now, and the city has no plans to continue. "We have repeatedly stressed that we stopped the construction of the health trails at the request of the local community and cancelled the construction contract. I can confirm that there will be no asphalt in the Sütiste forest," said Svet.

The Sütiste forest park land is owned by the Estonian Environmental Board and managed by the Estonian Forest Management Centre (RMK), which means that further decisions on the future of the health trails will be made by the state.

Following a meeting with local residents on 11 May, the City of Tallinn decided to suspend work on the health trails and lighting. At the same meeting, Mustamäe district elder Lauri Laats proposed the formation of a working group consisting of community representatives, experts and representatives of the city authorities. During the summer, three working group meetings were held to discuss the Sütiste forest health trails project in depth. The working group meetings were also attended by a large number of interested local residents.

Representatives of the MTÜ Nõmme Tee Selts, TalTech, SA Eesti Terviserajad, MTÜ Sütiste Metsa Selts, MTÜ Eesti Metsa Abiks, Eesti Loomakaitse Selts (Estonian Society for the Protection of Animals), Sports Club Nord, Tallinn Urban Environment and Public Works Department, Nõmme district and Mustamäe district were involved in the working group.

"Discussions and deliberations at the working group meetings have confirmed that the most sensible solution to the situation is not to implement the project. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the discussions," said Mustamäe district elder Lauri Laats and Nõmme district elder Karmo Kuri.

In the coming weeks, timber harvested so far will be removed from the forest and reused in other sites across the city. For example, some of the wood will go to the Tallinn Zoo for animal play elements and boardwalks, some will be used to cover forest roads in green areas and the rest will be used later on other sites in the city. With the agreement of the Environmental Board, the remaining stumps will be grinded in the near future.