SEEDS 05. Reykjavík & Blàfjöll Mountain range
Soil erosion control and reforestation works are among the tasks our group of SEEDS volunteers have done during the past days at the project SEEDS 05. Reykjavík & Blàfjöll Mountain range. 12 volunteers from 10 different countries will stay with us until July 23rd, tackling this serious issues in Iceland.
This workcamp gives volunteers the opportunity to discover lots of places around Reykjavík and the Reykjanes peninsula, because the work is situated in different places in the area. One of those places, the Bláfjöll volcanic mountain range is located about 30 minutes drive from Reykjavík; the river Elliðaá have its source there, streaming down to the lake Helliðavatn in the eastern suburban border of the city, on the way it passes through the nature reserve area of Heiðmörk. The highest mountain reaches 600m and therefore since 1968 the region became a very popular skiing area among Icelanders and the favourite for skiers in the Capital area.
Volunteers are lodged at the oldest school (1928) of Reykjavík “Austurbæjarskóli”, in the centre, just five minutes to the main street, two minutes to the oldest swimming pool! Two days were spent in Bláfjöll area the group was accommodated in a ski hut, in a very beautiful place surrounded by mountains.
Our host, Björn is specialized in the fertilization of some areas which have been destroyed by erosion or by sheep. SEEDS volunteers main task is to stop erosion in some places by putting fertilizing materials like horse manure, rotten hay and “Meat meal” (an animal feedstuff produced by recycling animal by-products). These by-products include meat trimmings, inedible parts and organs and certain carcasses. They are cooked (rendered) to produce a nutritional and economical feed ingredient.
The group also plants trees and picked up rubbish. It was interesting to see the effect of the methods used, Björn explains how it works to fully understand the meaning of the work. Though the weather conditions are quite harsh sometimes and work is physically demanding, muscle power and strength to work with very smelly fertilizers are needed. But nevertheless the group has lots of fun - rolling hay bales, counting amount of wheelbarrows full of hay in different languages and etc.
Lots of after-work activities, environmental or group forming or just really nice international communication and a bit of chill out. Environmental activities were about recycling in the world, dams in Iceland in the form of a lawsuit with the people for and the people against, and the hosts was also explain their points of view as Icelanders and other general green issues.
Our host organised an amazing two days trip to the south part of Iceland -Jökulsárlón, through Skogafoss, Svartifoss in the Skaftafell National Park, and lots of beautiful places, amazing trip and perfect weather, everybody enjoyed it so much, remember with dancing and singing night! The group also went to the golden circle: Geysir, Gullfoss including the traditional Icelandic soup!
From SEEDS side, the leader is Julien Touzé and the Environmental messengers Mathias Magen & Giedre Miseviciute.