Jurmo - Finland

The island of Jurmo is located in the Southwestern Archipelago National Park off the south east Finland coast. Part of a UNESCO biosphere reserve, it is the largest of a number of islands which belong to the magnificent Salpausselkä ridge that stretches from Karelia in the east to the Hanko area in south-west Finland. This five km long barren island, with an unusual plant life, is mentioned as early as 1270. No trees grow on Jurmo, save a small number of planted pines and a few birches and alders in a marsh. According to legend, there used to be a pine forest on the island but in the 16th century it was burned down by a Swedish expedition sent to punish the local inhabitants, who had been accused of piracy.