WORK/PROJECT: Since 2007 SEEDS has been working with an organization devoted to the re-vegetation of eroded soils in the south-west of Iceland. The aim is to halt the downward spiral of erosion and to strengthen the ecosystem by enhancing its natural vegetation.
SEEDS volunteers will perform three different types of work with GFF: a) Revegetation and erosion control, b) Tree planting, c) Monitoring the survival and growth of tree plantations of former years.
By using organic waste materials for fertilizing we aim for a double environmental gain. The soils, impoverished of plant nutrients, are enriched while the amount of materials in need for a treatment as waste is substantially decreased. The south-west is part of the volcanic belt of Iceland, with vast lava fields and erodible volcanic soils. Additionally, the area has suffered from overgrazing of sheep for long. Consequently the ecological condition is rather poor and some areas are stripped entirely of top soil.
Close to 70% of the total population lives in this part of Iceland. Different kinds of organic waste materials are being generated in and from the urban environment, substantial quantities every year. In the long run materials like horse manure, garden waste and the likes are the best revegetation means available. We work to make way for these materials as a revegetation medium. In this project we combine professionalism with idealism. The results so far can already be seen at a number of sites in the area and since 2007 with great contribution from SEEDS volunteers.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be lodged in a school with basic facilities in one of Reykjavik’s neighbouring towns, Hafnarfjörður. Volunteers will sleep on mattresses provided, please bring a sleeping bag. Food ingredients will be provided and the group will be responsible for cooking and cleaning. Please do not forget some traditional food from your home country for the international evening.
LOCATION: The work will take place in the vicinity of Reykjavík, and the groups will touch upon more than one project in different places. The main emphasis will be on erosion control on the banks of Kleifarvatn (big lake in Reykjanes peninsula), Vatnsskarð, Bolalda, Sandskeið and various sites on the Reykjanes peninsula.
The Reykjanes peninsula is located near the capital and most travellers coming to Iceland land in the area. The peninsula is marked by active volcanism under its surface, and large lava fields allow little vegetation. There are numerous hot springs and sulphur springs in the southern half of the peninsula, around the Kleifarvatn Lake and in the Krýsuvík geothermal area.
The Peninsula is famous for its hiking trails that zigzag through the region with colourful landscapes. Amazing ocean cliffs, (up to 70 m high) are nested by numerous bird species, often a wonderful spot for bird and whale watching. Another great asset of the peninsula is the Blue Lagoon, a pool using the hot and mineralized water coming down from the geothermal power station.
LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp; high proficiency is not a requirement.
TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF). Bus station: Central Reykjavík (BSÍ).
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 250 (Euros). Please note that these fees are to be paid to SEEDS on arrival in either Euros or Icelandic krónas.
Volunteers will have the opportunity to take on two excursions in the workcamp. One is a daytrip to Þingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir and the other one is a two day trip to the Snæfellsnes peninsula, where the participants have to pay 25 euros for the accommodation.