We were deeply saddened to hear the news that Tony Newby passed away on July 18th.
Tony was one of the founders of the Forest Service trail programme and had worked closely with our international volunteers for many years. In addition to programme development, Tony specialised in leadership training and gave his time generously to the establishment of the Thórsmörk programme. He brought invaluable experience from his career of managing conservation volunteers in the UK.
Since our arrival in Thórsmörk in 2013, Tony was at the centre of our team and had a huge influence on all those he worked with, trained and mentored over the years. He was a unique character and will be missed by his many Iceland friends.
We would like to offer our deepest sympathy to Tony‘s family and friends at this sad time.
2015 On the road to Básar
2017 With the volunteers
(Photographs by Andy Jefferies, Chas Goemans and Jade Alexis)
The long sunny days of July already seem a long time ago as the start of August has brought us storms, growing rivers and lots of rain.
Despite the weather, progress has been very good, the team are still smiling and our work continues… with orange waterproofs close at hand.
Tree planting team at Tumastaðir Forestry Station (Michelle Pröstler)
Checking numbers and repainting trail markers on Laugavegurinn (Anna Mariager)
Hiding from the rain at our Langidalur hut (Nicolas Talou)
Our team heading out to work (Nicolas Talou)
Box steps on their way to Valahnúkur (Anna Mariager)
Rainy (but still beautiful) day at Langidalur (Nicolas Talou)
Tree planting at Tumastaðir (Rahel Paasch)
Bridge building at Langidalur (Nicolas Talou)
Sunshine on Valahnúkur (Theresa Schaber)
When the Forest Service trail programme began in Thórsmörk in 2013, our first challenge was to establish a base camp for the work and a site at Langidalur was chosen. Developed in close cooperation with Ferðafélag Íslands, the aim of the camp was to provide basic facilities for the volunteer teams who were camping in the area during the summer months including shelter for cooking and a dry space for the teams to use in the evenings. Conditions were very basic at the start, but Langidalur became our home.
Delivered by our friends from Húsadalur and the Kynnisferðir truck (2013)
Repairs and improvements in preparations for the first teams (2013)
The addition of the kitchen and food storage area (2014)
Last month, we celebrated the seventh birthday of the Thórsmörk trailteams.
Although the volunteers were busy preparing the Langidalur volunteer camp for the season, they were able to find some time for the chocolate cake.
After seven years on the trails, we still feel very lucky to call Thórsmörk our home.
We have received a record number of applications for our programme this season and our first week back at work has been busy with reading applications and completing Skype interviews. We are delighted that there has been so much interest in the programme and it has been really nice to hear from so many people who would like to join us for a second (or third) time.
We have now started to allocate places so although we will keep the applications open until the end of the month, don’t delay getting in contact if you would like to join us this season. No previous experience of trail construction work is necessary as practical training will be provided. We are looking for participants who have some experience of camping and hill walking, enjoy wilderness landscapes and are ready for a challenge.
Allocations are now underway and the final deadline for volunteer applications for this season is January 31st.