Eleven-time world arm-wrestling champion and married to biathlon champion Björn Ferry. A TV personality with productions such as the children’s programme Miljöhjältarna (‘The environment heroes’) and documentary series Storuman Forever to her name – most Swedes today know who Heidi Andersson is.
Through persistent hard work, she has worked her way into the heart of Swedish society with her indomitable energy and uncompromising message: we have to change the way we live, for the sake of the planet. Storuman Forever was an eye-opener for many Swedes, and Heidi and Björn’s goal of living fossil-free by 2025 has become a brand promise to the Swedish people.
However, Heidi isn’t just a TV star and sports personality, she also holds the forest close to her heart. The forest has always played an important role in Heidi Andersson’s life, and when she was awarded the title of Honorary Doctor of Forest Sciences by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, it felt like the most natural thing in the world.
The little village of Ensamheten (which would translate to "The Loneliness" in English) in Lapland is little more than a clearing in the forest, containing a few houses and assorted other buildings. This was where Heidi grew up, and some of her relatives still live here today, including her father Kent, who has worked in the forest all his life.
"He worked for the Swedish National Forest Enterprise, before starting his own company. He’s one of the few manual wood cutters still left today", Heidi explains. "He picks up where the forestry machinery fails. On plots where there’s not much space or where it’s difficult to fell the trees, or in inaccessible areas where it’s simply impossible to bring in the machinery."