K-Citymarket Lohja is holding a community work event for promoting biodiversity by replacing rugosa roses with endemic plants

Last year, K-Citymarket Lohja removed rugosa rose bushes from an area of thousands of square metres on the shop grounds. On Thursday 19 May, there will be a community work event to plant endemic plants in place of this invasive species. This is intended to advance biodiversity and encourage pollinators to find the area.

Harmful invasive species like the rugosa rose are a significant threat to biodiversity. Thick rugosa rose bushes provide a living environment for only a limited number of organisms. In addition, they take over space from endemic Finnish nature.

At K-Citymarket Lohja, the area the rugosa rose bushes were removed from was not covered with lawn or pavement. Instead, we wanted to advance the local biodiversity and replace the invasive species with a meadow. Some of the plants in this meadow will not bloom until the spring of 2023, which is why we are now sowing the meadow with additional endemic plants. This way, the meadow will already be in bloom this summer.

The local residents of Lohja are invited to take part in the community work on Thursday, 19 May.

‘We wanted to build the shop grounds in a way that is not only aesthetically beautiful, but also has a deeper meaning and an underlying thought process. The community work is also a good opportunity for our customers to take part in advancing biodiversity in a tangible way. We hope many of the locals will come and join us to do this community work,’ says Silja Törrönen, the merchant at K-Citymarket Lohja.

Insects like butterflies, bees and moths have an average flight distance of 100–500 metres. For these insects to be able to expand their habitat to new areas, they need meadows between built-up areas as intermediate stopping points. With the aid of these intermediate stopping points, the insects can breed, rest, feed and even hibernate. This means the meadow at K-Citymarket Lohja can have a significant impact on preserving biodiversity.

‘Diversity is a massively important thing that can be advanced with even quite small actions. We are hoping that all kinds of pollinating insects as well as birds will find their way to the renovated flowering areas. Additionally, diverse plant life binds more carbon into the soil than a simple lawn,’ says Satu Sokkinen, the District Director of L&T’s Landscaping Services.

The lushness and well-being of the remaining lawn areas are ensured with the environmentally friendly GreenCare Ympäristön Ystävä fertiliser, donated by Berner. This fertiliser is manufactured based on the circular economy, and 80 per cent of its ingredients are recycled materials. Antton Rossi, the merchant at K-Rauta Lohja, which is located next to the premises, participates in the community work by donating four insect hotels that provide different kinds of insects a place to spend a night, build a nest and hibernate over the winter.

Biodiversity and climate are central to K Group’s sustainability strategy

Climate and nature are one of the focus areas in K Group’s new sustainability strategy, and the importance of biodiversity work is increasing. K Group’s goal is to prevent biodiversity loss as part of its operations and within the whole value chain.

‘As a commercial company, we understand our role in protecting and promoting biodiversity. We are strengthening the work we do to support nature and setting goals for our biodiversity impacts. The rewilding of K-Citymarker Lohja’s grounds is a fine example of what a shop can do to promote biodiversity,’ says Mika Sivula, K Group’s District Director of Southern Finland.

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