In our last week for this season, we took a few days break from the autumn rain in Þórsmörk and returned to Þjórsárdalur Forestry Station. Our small remaining volunteer team planted more than 2000 spruce trees which brings our total for the season close to 4000.
Although our main activity is still trail maintenance work, tree planting has become an important element of our programme as we try to address carbon sequestration for the international flights associated with it. This season, the programme has increased its focus on locally based staff and volunteers, but we were also joined by 16 volunteers who traveled from abroad.
As our international volunteers now stay with us for up to 10 weeks, comfortable indoor accommodation is a welcome break from life at our camps. We would like to say a huge thank you to our colleagues in both Tumastaðir and Thjorsárdalur Forestry Stations, for hosting our teams.
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)
Planning for next season is now well underway and we have exciting news about a new initiative for 2020.
For the first time, we will be offering 11-week volunteer placements with our Operations team. Although the main focus remains the practical trail management work in Thórsmörk, the additional time will allow us to include more skills development and a greater emphasis on land restoration and tree planting tasks. The establishment of longer placements will also help us to reduce the number of flights associated with the programme.
These new placements are particularly suitable for volunteers who have worked with us before or have been involved in similar programmes where they have had experience of practical trail work and working with volunteer teams. The 11-week placements will start in April and June.
Full details as well as information about all our other 2020 volunteer opportunities will be published here on December 15th.
Last season we introduced tree planting into our volunteer programme for the first time. Although this is quite different to the regular work of the trailteams, everyone was very eager to get involved. Taking a break from the Thórsmörk trails, the teams travelled to the Forestry Stations at Tumastaðir and Þjórsárdalur where our colleagues organised and guided the work.
Various tree species were planted (depending on the location) and these included both native birch as well as fast-growing poplar. During a series of projects with the foresters, our teams planted more than 5000 trees.
With this successful start we plan to continue and plant many more trees in 2020.
Full details about our 2020 volunteer programme, including placement dates and application forms will be published here on December 15th.