Published 4 August 2014 by Stora Enso
Northern know-how is very prominent in Lappset’s Angry Birds-themed Activity Parks that one can visit in Finland, China, the UK, Malaysia and the Canary Islands. The backbone of these full-motion activity parks is strong pine from northern forests. Stora Enso’s sawmill in Veitsiluoto is one of the main suppliers.
The Lappset company’s story began over forty years ago in Finnish Lapland. The founder of the company wanted children to have an interesting environment for playing and getting exercise. He was also keen on wooden toys – not just the metallic carousels and climbing frames that were fashionable at the time.
Over the decades, Lappset has become a well-known brand among the parents of small children in the more than 50 countries where Lappset playgrounds have been built. And today, too, they are built with wood.
“Northern pine is a very suitable raw material for our playgrounds, as it is strong and its fibres tight,” explains Veikko Salmela from Lappset. “We do not want children to get slivers in their fingers!”
Angry Birds-themed activity parks were created in 2012. Originally featured in a mobile device game, these birds have become beloved by children around the world and ultimately inspired Lappset to utilise the game also as a way to get children away from their mobile devices.
”Wood has been and still is one of our most important raw materials in traditional playgrounds, Angry Birds Activity Parks, our fitness equipment, and also in our collection of classic and modern park and street furniture. Wood is an ecological and sustainable raw material that suits different weather conditions in different parts of the world, from extreme cold in the north to subtropical humidity of the south,” Veikko Salmela says.
Made in Lapland
Lappset’s presence has grown globally, but all of its wooden play and sports products are made in Rovaniemi, in Finnish Lapland. “Northern pine is also a local raw material for us,” Salmela continues.
“The important factor in our raw materials is tracked to its origin, good quality and year-round availability.”
Stora Enso’s sawmill in Veitsiluoto fulfils the requirements and has been supplying wood for Lappset for more than a decade. Being local is an advantage, but the good quality of northern pine also makes it a highly valued material in the markets of Japanand Morocco, for example.
Northern trees may grow slowly, but all good things are worth waiting for.