WORK/PROJECT: The main tasks of SEEDS volunteers will be trail management and conservation work in the hiking areas, including trail maintenance work and path marking.Volunteers will work together with the leaders and trail teams of Umhverfisstofnun (The Environment Agency of Iceland). Work will be physically demanding and may involve long hikes to reach the working sites.
SEEDS volunteers in this project will have the unique opportunity to work in 2 of the most amazing places in Iceland! Part of the time will be spent working at the Fjallabak Nature Reserve and the rest of the time at the largest National Park in Europe, the Vatnajökull National Park!!
Well maintained paths enable people to visit these amazing areas without damaging them and this important work also helps to improve safety for visitors. No previous experience of this work is necessary as training will be provided by experienced leaders. The working day normally runs from 09:00 – 17:00 with breaks for lunch and coffee. However, please be prepared for some flexibility due to the nature of Iceland’s changeable weather.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will need to bring their own sturdy tents (including a warm sleeping bag and a carry mat to sleep on), while Umhverfisstofnun will provide large equipped tents for cooking. Food ingredients will be provided and a kitchen will be available, volunteers will share the duties of preparing and cooking meals.
LOCATION: SEEDS volunteers will work in 2 of the most beautiful places in Iceland and on Earth!!
The first part of the project will be at the Nature Reserve of Fjallabak, in its area lie some of the pearls of Iceland – Landmannalaugar, Eldgjá and Strútslaug. Landmannalaugar, an area of recent volcanic activity, has colourful rhyolite mountains, rugged lava fields, hot springs and a natural warm pool for relaxation. Inevitably gazing at the mountains will force you to return to childhood - at least a bit. Only children speak of "yellow", "orange" or even "purple" mountains. These however are the appropriate terms to describe the colourful mountains at Landmannalaugar (the hot spring of the country men). While wandering through this intoxication of colour, you will come upon Icelandic moss fields, meadows of wool grass, steam springs, and bizarre lava formations, where various blossoms defy the raw climate. Landmannalaugar is a highly interesting place in geological sense but also for its history and vegetation; while the unique beauty of the surroundings, the colours and shapes are not to be found in one other place in nature. This fact and the comfortable natural bath have made Landmannalaugar the most visited spot in the uninhabited areas of Iceland; the hot spring is almost always full with people, like a constant international congress.
The second 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 Vatnajökull National Park it is established and operated under special law, it is an autonomous government agency that requires cooperation between nine municipalities including Hornafjordur, Skaftarhreppur, Skutustadahreppur and Nordurthing. Due to its size, it is expected that traditional uses of land such as farming and hunting will be allowed in designated areas.
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 International volunteers and local hosts.
TERMINAL: As last years, SEEDS will organise the “minibus option”, a shared transport from Reykjavík to the workcamps and vice versa, which apart from being cheaper and more convenient, allows volunteers to meet fellow campers and have a relaxed trip to the project site, while stopping on the way for interesting and tourist sites. Closest international Airport: Keflavík (Reykjavík), KEF.
EXTRAS: Participation fee EUR180. Remote, isolated places of extreme beauty! Bring your own, sturdy tent (including a warm sleeping bag and a carry mat to sleep on).