Nature reserve below the Arctic Circle - Hornstrandir
Description: This project is located on the nature reserve at Hornstrandir which is Iceland's northernmost peninsula, situated in the Westfjords of the country. Our host is a family that runs activities and services in the Old Doctor’s House during summer time. SEEDS volunteers have been supporting the activities since 2015 with excellent results. The place is extremely beautiful but very isolated and only accessible by boat or hiking. The main task of the project will be helping with the construction of a small shed, a stone wall and a wood porch. The volunteers will also help digging a trench for water mains that will be used for a small/micro hydro-power plant that has received permission to be built on the premises.
Type of Work: The trench has to be manually made because no machines are allowed in the nature reserve. The working day normally runs from 09:00 - 17:00 with breaks for lunch and coffee. No previous experience is necessary but the work is demanding and might require a good physical condition. As it is outdoors work, volunteers shall be ready to adapt and be flexible, as depending on the weather, the work plan might change with short notice or the group may not be able to perform some of the tasks or activities planned.
Study Theme: Volunteers need to be prepared for working outdoors, be prepared to experience all kinds of weather and bring warm winter clothes as the tasks take place outside and it could get rather cold even in spring/summer. Bring warm under-layers, waterproofs, walking shoes/boots, a good sleeping bag, hat, scarves and gloves.
Accommodation: SEEDS volunteers will sleep in beds in shared rooms. Please bring your own sleeping bag. The house is well heated, and has a shower and a well equipped kitchen. The electricity is limited but enough to charge cameras and other small electronics. There is no internet and mobile phone connection is very limited. There is a landline available through which volunteers’ families can reach them if needed. Volunteers will receive prepared food during the camp but it may be that the group will receive food ingredients and be in charge of cooking and cleaning activities.
Language: English will be the official language in the camp; basic conversational skills are needed.
Requirements: Volunteers should be motivated to experience life in a very isolated but extremely beautiful part of Iceland. Weather in Iceland is unpredictable and it can be cold or rainy even in early summer. Participants should bring good walking shoes, working clothes, warm clothes, rainproof coats, scarves, gloves and hats.
Approximate Location: Hornstrandir is on the farthest point in the northwest of Iceland, to the north of the Jökulfirðir and to the northwest of Drangajökull. Hornstrandir is close to the Arctic Circle and on a clear day the snowy mountains of Greenland are visible. No one lives in Hornstrandir throughout winter after social changes resulted in the abandonment of all farms during World War II and in the post-war period. Hesteyri is a small village of ten houses that was abandoned in 1952. Farther into the fjord, there are the ruins of an old whaling station which was built by Norwegians in 1897.
Notes: Hesteyri is a popular starting and ending place for hikers. The area is also popular for blueberry and crowberry picking. Free time activities in the area include hikes or walks in the surroundings. The house has a good atmosphere, with card games and live music as evening activities. Volunteers with musical skills should bring their music instruments along. If weather allows we will make a barbecue pit for the farewell party.