SEEDS' volunteers are working all over the country and a group of 10 started working in the area of Hornstrandir, one of the most isolated and unspoiled areas in Iceland!!
10 International volunteers coming from 9 different countries (Canada, Czech Rep., Iceland, Lebanon, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, US and the UK) make a extremely colorful group and surely a very good one to support the tourism-development activities in the area! Our volunteers will be working on different projects related to the promotion of tourism in this region and will be mainly focused on renovation works, cleaning up the coastline and country-side, building of some hiking trails, etc.
They will stay in the area that is only accessible by boat (or few days of walk by foot...) for the next 2 weeks and will have the chance to get back to the "mainland" to Bolungarvík and Ísafjörður for few hours during their free days! One of the last wildernesses of Europe, the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve can be reached only by boat. It was established in 1975, its boundaries are in the Skorarheiði moor between the fjords of Hrafnsfjörður and Furufjörður. The Reserve area thus covers the Hornstrandir region, part of the Jökulfirðir fjords and part of the district of Grunnavíkurhreppur.
Social changes resulted in the abandonment of all farms during World War II and in the post-war period. The land is mostly private property and the landowners are entitled to its traditional utilisation, i.e. eider farming, fishing in rivers and lakes, hunting birds and gathering eggs. A few dozen houses are located within the Nature Reserve area, both old, renovated farmsteads and new cottages.
Through the ages, nature and human life in Hornstrandir were closely interwoven. Traditional agriculture was always limited; instead, the inhabitants based their livelihood on the sea and bird-cliffs. Trips between farms were difficult, during the wintertime. Outlaws travelled to Hornstrandir in order to board foreign ships and leave the country. As a result of these conditions, the history of the region assumes a depth which gives an added dimension to visits to the Nature Reserve. The primary factor that made farming in Hornstrandir different from that of other parts of the country was the struggle with the bird-cliffs. The cliffs were an important source of food, but their utilisation was hazardous. The main basis of livelihood was fishing and fish processing, but all that ended in 1962 when the last inhabitants abandoned the area and left the Jokulfjord area totally desolated.