Inspired by Iceland
SEEDS 01. Nature reserve of Þórsmörk* - The forest of Þór
Highlands / Interior
SEEDS Iceland
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From 20.04.2009 to 04.05.2009
Type: Environmental / Construction
Number of volunteers: 12
Language: English - high proficiency is not required
Accomodation: Ranger's huts
Participation fee: 80 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, will work again this year with our groups of volunteers in the natural protected reserve of Þórsmörk. Volunteers’ tasks in this project will be mainly focused on preparations of the area before the summer season as this is one of the most beautiful sites of the country and therefore very popular among local and foreign visitors, hikers and nature lovers.

SEEDS will support the administration of the reserve putting up the visitors’ area, the mountain huts and the housing facilities. We will get the houses up and running after the area is closed in the autumn; we will be cleaning the area, furbishing the huts and the common facilities. Work includes maintenance and renovation of window, door frames and panes that may be affected by the frost of the past winter. Other tasks include painting and retouching of the huts, preparation of the camping and outdoors area, arranging fences and general works in order to prepare the reserve.

ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will stay in the ranger’s huts and will sleep in bunk beds or mattresses on the floor. A warm sleeping bag is strongly recommended. Volunteers will receive food 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 Þórsmörk 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. Þórsmörk 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. Locals also appreciate Þórsmörk very much and visit it frequently the whole year round. 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 begin the journey/trail/hiking or relax after the 2-3 days journey/trail/hiking from Landmannalaugar. There is also a special trail from Skógar, “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.

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

SPECIAL REMARKS / EXTRAS: Participation fee EUR 80,- (Euros). 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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