Inspired by Iceland
SEEDS 11. Nature reserve of Þórsmörk * ? The forest of Þór
Highlands / Interior
SEEDS Iceland
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From 16.06.2008 to 28.06.2008
Type: Environmental
Number of volunteers: 12
Language: English
Accomodation: Ranger's huts
Participation fee: 130 EUR
Extra: Remote places located in natural reserved areas of extreme beauty. Guided hikes and free time activities in the area will be arranged for the volunteers.

WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS, SEE beyonD borderS, will work this year again with our volunteers in the natural protected area of Þórsmörk. Volunteers’ tasks will be mainly focused on construction, maintenance and marking of walking paths and hiking trails, as of maintenance of the mountain huts in the area, painting and renovation works on the cabins, along with forestry works.

ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will stay in the huts and will sleep either in bunk beds or mattresses on the floor. A warm sleeping bag is strongly recommended. Volunteers will receive food provided and be in charge of the different cooking and cleaning activities.

LOCATION: The Þórsmörk natural reserve is one of the most beautiful places in Iceland, surrounded by natural boundaries like mountains, ice caps and Glacier Rivers & lagoons. The Thorsmörk area is bounded by Krossá River to the south, Markarfljót River to the west, Ljósá River to the north and the ice cap Mýrdalsjökull to the east. Thorsmörk is an idyllic place of exceptional meteorological conditions hidden in the embrace of glaciers and mountains and was actually a fjord from the ocean about 12.000 years ago. The weather here is also often known to be better and less windy than in the immediate surrounding areas - making it a great destination to go to when the weather is lousy elsewhere. The glacier lagoon here is very popular to visit as well.

Þórsmörk is a place of breathtaking landscapes and a fauna of great variety. It is the home of 170 seminiferous plants as well as a variety of trees, moss and fern. The main reason for the variety of plants and trees is probably attributed to the fact that the area has been exempt from sheep and horsegrazing for over 100 years - sheltering them from their apparent negative impact on the flora.

Þórsmörk is one of Iceland’s brightest pearls in the string of beautiful areas of the country, surrounded by rugged and beautiful mountains, glaciers and glacial rivers, decorated with small birch woods and silver lined with humming brooks. Icelanders appreciate Þórsmörk (The Forest of Þór) very much and visit it frequently the whole year round. Quite a few brooks and rivers have to be forded to get there.

Þórsmörk is famous for spectacular nature and is very popular to visit and go hiking. There are many hiking trails in Þórsmörk, one can hike inside the area or hike over the unique trail “Laugavegur” to Landmannalaugar. During summer many people come to Þórsmörk to begin the journey/trail/hiking or to relax after the 2-3 days journey/trail/hiking from Landmannalaugar. There is also a special trail from Skógar to Þórsmörk “Fimmvörðuháls” so it is a perfect place for nature lovers and those who enjoy being outdoors.

Þórsmörk is situated in the south of Iceland, about 160 km from Reykjavík, between 3 glaciers in a place of surreal beauty. For years, the only access to this wondrous place was by a powerful or altered jeep to cross the treacherous rivers, but that is no longer the case.

LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp; high proficiency is not a requirement.

STUDY THEME: Environmental messenger in the project. S/he will be in charge of delivering ecological and global education messages to both, International volunteers and local hosts through organised activities as workshops, presentations, simulations, discussions, games on topics related to environment, nature protection and sustainability as use of resources, globalisation, millennium development goals, global warming, fair trade, recycling, consumption, etc. We intend to raise awareness and to encourage the participants to undertake simple but easy-to-implement actions which will affect the way we deal with the environment and the world we live in.

TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík (Reykjavík), KEF. Closest bus stop is Hvolsvöllur.

SPECIAL REMARKS / EXTRAS: Participation fee EUR 130,-. Remote places located in natural reserved areas of extreme beauty. Guided hikes and free time activities in the area will be arranged for the volunteers.

* The name Þórsmörk means “the forest of Þór” or " Þór’s woods"

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