Through his work, forest worker Jukka Hapulahti ensures that the spruce seedlings growing at Hiiskula estate in Uusimaa region in Southern Finland have enough living space, sun and water.
Bumblebees fly lazily in early summer warmth. The forest smells of blossoming flowers and juicy spruce shoots.
They are not there for the forest worker to enjoy, as his safety gear, helmet, hearing protection and the buzz of the clearing saw block everything else quite effectively. UPM Silvesta’s forest worker Jukka Hapulahti mostly listens to Radio Finland via his earphones. For an experienced forest worker, the routines involved come naturally. The job is completed almost by itself.
“When I go home after a working day, I don’t need sounds: just silence and a shower.”
Hapulahti takes off his clearing saw harness and sits by the roadside to have a break.
“My morning porridge keeps me going until late in the afternoon. A bottle of juice and a banana help me finish at least this section of the stand.”
Hapulahti washes the snack down with a cup of coffee from his thermos. The break is necessary for refuelling both the forest worker and his clearing saw. It is also a good opportunity to sharpen the saw blade.
“Just a little touch with the file. If I sharpen the blade a little bit every now and then, it won’t become blunt;
it stays in shape.”
The job has taught him a lot. Hapulahti doesn’t have any basic education on forestry, but his employer has provided training over the years. He has, for example, a special vocational diploma in forest management.
“My career started in 1979 when I became a forest worker for Kytäjä mansion in Hyvinkää. Back in those days, the pay cheque was brought straight to the forest. To the stumps, if you like. Even though the name of my employer has changed over time, my employment has continued for over 35 years.”