WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS volunteers will be working on a country-side project in a beautiful forest located in the Dalabyggð district in the West of Iceland, doing nature-conservation and environment-oriented tasks. SEEDS has been cooperating with the Icelandic Forest Service and our groups of volunteers have been helping out for 15 years in different locations all around the country; with very good results for the participants, the projects and the Icelandic nature conservation and reforestation efforts.
The main tasks will be to maintain hiking paths, build stairs, make and put up signs. Volunteers will also put up benches and tables in the forest. Other tasks will be to trim branches and beautify groves that are located near hiking paths. Well maintained paths enable people to visit these amazing areas without damaging the surroundings and in addition our volunteers’ work helps to improve safety for visitors.
No previous experience is necessary, but the work is demanding and requires a good physical condition. 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.
Weather is unpredictable and it can be cold and/or rainy, be prepared to experience all kinds of weather. We recommend bringing good walking shoes/boots, warm and/or waterproof clothes (underlayers, overcoats, scarves, gloves and hats), as most of the tasks and activities take place outside.
ACCOMMODATION: SEEDS volunteers will sleep in different facilities provided by the Forest Service. At the location there is a caravan, also a container furnished for housing and a heated tent.
The caravan and the container house are equipped with kitchens and bathrooms. We will have access to the local swimming pool for the showers. Please bring your own sleeping bag.
Volunteers will receive food supplies and will be in charge of cooking and cleaning. Do not forget to bring some traditional/typical food, drinks, music and recipes from your country for the intercultural evening.
LOCATION: The project will take place in the West of Iceland countryside; in a district called Dalabyggð ('Valley district'). Dalabyggð was formed in 1994 when 8 municipalities were merged. The only town of Dalabyggð is Búðardalur, with about 300 inhabitants is a service center for the area. The village has a long history, dating from the time of the first settlements in Iceland. The name means "Camp Valley", or more directly "dale of booths"; it is where settlers had temporary camps when coming to the area.
At a short distance from the village is Eiríksstaðir, the homestead of Erik the Red, who discovered Greenland and whose son Leifur Eiríksson, born at Eiríksstaðir, discovered America ahead of Columbus.
There are many valleys in Dalir and often it is unclear where one starts and another ends. Further away from the coastline lie the many islands of Breiðarfjörður in all their glory which form a magnificent view when bathed in the light of the setting sun over this great fjord. The area is popular with hikers who can choose from many different paths and routes ranging from ‘easy’ to ‘challenging’ and ‘difficult’. Dalabyggð is not only famous for hiking, it is mentioned in many of the Sagas and was the setting in two of the most famous from 850 to 1300.
LANGUAGE: English will be the language in the camp; basic conversational skills are needed.
TERMINAL & TRANSPORT: Closest international Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF).
SEEDS offers the minibus option, a shared transport from Reykjavík to the camp and 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. Meeting point at SEEDS’ office at 11:00 am on August 7. Return to Reykjavík in the late evening of August 14. The minibus to this camp will cost EUR 30 each way, about 20% cheaper than public transport.
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 300 (Euros). The fee can either be transferred in advance via bank transfer, or paid in cash on arrival. The participation fee does not include the transportation from Reykjavík to the camp and back, which will cost EUR 30 (Euros) one way or EUR 60 (Euros) both ways.
This work camp takes place in a very remote place, located 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.
The project takes place outside and it can get cold and rainy. We recommend bringing warm and waterproof clothes (underlayers, overcoats, scarves, gloves and hats), good working and walking shoes.