WORK/PROJECT: This project offers SEEDS volunteers a unique opportunity to work at the largest National Park in Europe, the Vatnajökull National Park and in the beautiful and attractive area of Laugarvatn.
SEEDS Iceland will continue the partnership with the Environmental agency of Iceland (Umhverfisstofnun) and the volunteers will support a research project on invasive species conducted by a team of scientist from the University of Iceland and the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (Landgræðsla ríkisins). The Lupine plant (from Alaska) has been used in Iceland in order to control soil erosion and re-vegetate eroded areas; but in some places its spread is more than desirable and being a foreign specie endangers the native habitat in the National Park; the research project focuses on the use, management and control of invasive species in Iceland.
The work in Laugarvatn area will mainly consist of picking wild Icelandic plants, herbs and flowers. The plants will be used to make organic creams and skin products. Many of the plants have been used in Iceland for centuries and the volunteers will learn about them, where and when they can be picked, how they work and can be used for health and healing.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will have two different types of accommodation. In the National park volunteers will sleep in tents provided the by the National Park service. If volunteers want, they can also bring their own tents. In Laugarvatn the volunteers will stay in a fully equipped local house with access to bathroom and kitchen.
Food ingredients will be provided and a kitchen will be available, volunteers will share the duties of preparing and cooking meals. Please do not forget some typical food for the international evening, where others can try and taste some specialities from your home countries.
Please bring your own warm sleeping bag and your own sleeping mat. Volunteers must bring their own walking boots and waterproofs.
LOCATION: Part of the project will take place at the largest National Park in Europe, Vatnajökull N.P., stretching from the south coast to the north coast of the island; it is the largest protected wilderness in Europe. It covers around 15.000 km2 (15% of the surface of Iceland), including all of Vatnajökull glacier, the former Skaftafell N.P., Jokulsargljufur N.P. and surrounding area. Due to the size of the Park it is established and operated under special law, it is an autonomous government agency that requires cooperation between nine municipalities.
The other part of the project will take place about 70 km from Reykjavík city, in the area of Laugarvatn, a small village with 169 inhabitants standing on the shore of the 2,14 km2 lake with the same name. In the area are many hot springs and it is only in a short driving distance from Þingvellir, the old parliament , the powerful waterfall Gullfoss and the erupting hot pools at Geysir area. The area is known for good weather and quiet lifestyle and Icelanders do go there during their summer vacations for relaxing and enjoying the beautiful nature. In the area are many nice hiking trails for beginners and more advanced hikers.
LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp; high proficiency is not a requirement.
TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF). SEEDS organises the "minibus option", a shared transport from Reykjavík to the camps and vice-versa, which apart from being cheaper and more convenient, allows volunteers to meet fellow campers and have a relaxed trip, while stopping on the way for interesting and tourist sites.
EXTRAS: Participation fee EUR 150,- (Euros).
Volunteers applying for this project should have a motivation for working outdoors. Unique combination of two different of extreme beautiful natural surroundings with countless opportunities to hike and discover it by foot.