WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS volunteers will be working on a project in the beautiful forest Stálpastaðaskógur in the South-west of Iceland, doing nature and environmental oriented tasks. SEEDS has been cooperating with the Icelandic forest service and our groups of volunteers have been helping out for more than 10 years with very good results for the participants, the host and the Icelandic nature conservation and reforestation efforts.
The main task at hand is maintaining and repairing footpaths within the forest. SEEDS volunteers will perform four different types of tasks depending on the project and host needs each time:
a) fixing steps on the old footpath, b) cutting tree branches, c) removing vegetation from the path and d) putting a new layer of wood chips on the footpath. The main tasks will be to maintain and repair existing hiking paths, build steps/stairs. Other tasks may be to trim branches and beautify groves that are located near the trails.
Well maintained paths enable people to visit these amazing areas without damaging them and this important work also helps to improve safety for visitors. All work is done by hand with wheelbarrows and hand tools. Additional tasks may be cleaning or beautifying the area, like hand-picking garbage or collecting trash blown by the wind in the area and its surroundings.
The working day normally runs from 09:00 - 17:00 with breaks for lunch and coffee. No previous experience is necessary but the work is demanding and might require a good physical condition; it can at times be repetitive but always rewarding. As it is outdoors work, volunteers shall be ready to adapt and be flexible with the working and free-time schedule, as depending on the weather, we may not be able to perform some of the tasks or activities planned. The working plan will depend on the needs of our local host, the advance of the diverse projects in the area and of course on the weather conditions.
Volunteers need to be motivated to work outdoors on physical jobs and under changeable weather. Bring warm winter clothes, under-layers, waterproofs, walking shoes/boots, a good sleeping bag, hat, scarves and gloves.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be lodged in an old farmstead owned by the Icelandic Forest Service, which is located approximately 5 km from the forest. The house is the old garage at the farm which has been transformed into a summer house. There are beds for 7 people, a small kitchen, dining and a living room, toilet facilities and a shower. Volunteers will sleep on mattresses provided, but please bring a sleeping bag.
Participants will receive food supplies and be in charge of the cooking and cleaning activities. Do not forget some traditional/typical food, drinks, music and recipes from your home country for the international evening.
LOCATION: The work will take place in the forest Stálpastaðaskógur which is located about 25 km from Borgarnes and about 3 km from Bifröst. In the area there are many interesting places to visit, the waterfalls Glanni and Barnafossar, hiking trails and Húsafell, a summer house area with a camp site, hot springs, glacier view, golf course and a swimming pool.
West Iceland is famous for its Sagas, most of the Icelandic Sagas were written in West Iceland. Egils Saga, Sturlunga saga and Laxdæla are all stories of farmers, vikings and outlaws in year 850-1000. In West Iceland you will also have a lot of stories of elves and trolls and folk tales. The area is very charming with a lot of history.
LANGUAGE: English will be the language in the camp; basic conversational skills are needed.
TERMINAL: Closest international Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF). Bus station: Central Reykjavík (BSÍ).
SEEDS organises a “minibus option”, a shared transport from Reykjavík & back. Apart from being cheaper and convenient, it allows participants to meet and have a relaxed trip, while stopping on the way for interesting sites.
Departure will be at 13:00 (1:00 pm) on July 8 from SEEDS office. Return to Reykjavík in the evening of July 15.
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 250 (Euros). Please note that the fee can either be transferred in advance via bank transfer, or paid for on arrival.
The participation fee does not include the transportation from Reykjavík to the camp and back but we estimate the costs about EUR 30 each way.
This work camp takes place in a remote place, in a natural area of extreme beauty. Outdoor free time activities, for instance hikes or walks in the surroundings, will be arranged for SEEDS volunteers.