Crossing poles for flying squirrels in Jyväskylä, Finland

Published 29.12.22

Humans are constantly building new access routes that may endanger animals when they roam from one area to another. To facilitate the safe natural movement of animals, separate overpasses and tunnels under roads have been built.

Finns have erected crossing poles for flying squirrels in Finland for twenty years. These poles are designed to provide flying squirrels with a safe way to cross busy roads – they serve as aerial bridges.

In 2021, Tehomet delivered two 10-metre crossing poles to Rautpohja in Jyväskylä. The design and colouring of these poles were influenced by the narrow space between the roads and the surrounding nature. The biologist working on this project figured out a suitable location for the poles. The crossing poles have no lights at all. At the top, they have 300- and 500-mm long projections resembling tree branches where birds and squirrels can sit.

Crossing poles are taller than normal light poles because flying squirrels usually launch themselves into the air from the top. The surface of the round, upward-tapering poles is roughened and painted in a RAL shade. A normal varnish surface would be too slippery for flying squirrels.

The crossing pole designed by Tehomet, modified from a Pallas lighting pole, is a cost-effective and stylish solution that can be used with a standard pole base. The crossing pole is always sized and shaped according to the requirements of the project and it is possible to match the colour of the pole and base to suit the environment.

A flying squirrel can’t actually fly – it has a fold between its front and hind limbs that enables it to glide up to 60–80 metres. The flying squirrel is native to the Eurasian taiga zone. In the EU, flying squirrels are only found in Finland and Estonia. The endangered flying squirrel is strictly protected based on the EU Habitats Directive and the Finnish Nature Conservation Act.


– A GL28h strength class glulam beam made of PEFC-certified Finnish pine
– Hot-dip galvanized and powder-coated steel

Location: Jyväskylä, Finland

Construction year: 2021

Used in: Traffic

Designer: Tehomet

Photographer: Ilpo Aalto