Sign in Register. The natural birch forest (the little who remained) was saved in 1905 when the forest was protected by law from the Icelandic parliament. Egilsstaðir is the largest town in this quarter of the country, boasting a population of over 2000 people, as well as a hospital, airport and college. Book your complete trip with the best companies only. Soils are andosols and podzols, without permafrost but with turbulent movement of saturated soil on slopes. However, the days are very short in mid-winter. Long-tailed field mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) are abundant here, and are the only rodents. Since 1905, the forest has been the site of large scale trials of exotic species. 1952 saw the very first tree plantings with an intention on the part of the local municipality to grow Kjarnaskógur so large that it fully encircled Akureyri. Forests comprise only about 0.3% of Iceland’s total land area. Birch forest and woodland now covers about 350 ha within the original fenced area and a variety of tree species have been planted on another 200 ha. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. It consists of the entire island of Iceland not covered by permanent ice. Forests consist mainly of small areas of birch woodlands or plantations of native or exotic species, covering only 1.4 percent of the total land area ¿ the lowest coverage in Europe, apart from Malta. This is as true with many other animal, bird and plant species in Iceland. As of 2016, forests only made up 1.9 percent of Iceland, according to the Icelandic Forest Service. Since then it is estimated that we have lost over 90% of our forest cover due to unsustainable land-use. Birch forest in Skaftafell, South Iceland. Biodiversity FeatureThis ecoregion is rich in bird diversity, over three hundred species have been observed. The forest is now on course to become the largest natural birch forest in Iceland in a handful of years. unesdoc.unesco.org. global.expandsearch. unesdoc.unesco.org. Still, issues remain -- the forest above is of non-native spruce, not native birch, and forests still cover just 2% of the island. Discover a wide range of Mountain Tours Why not join this Mo... What are the most popular things to see and do in Iceland in November? Vaglaskógur has well organized camp sites and recreational areas. The new reforestation initiative will commence on July 1. One of the Iceland Forest Service’s major ambitions is to have afforested 12% of the country by the year 2100. Important bird areas in Europe: Priority sites for conservation. There is something magical about the forest. Iceland has a relatively mild coastal climate due to the effect of the Gulf . For two to three months in summer there is continuous daylight in Iceland, and early spring and late autumn enjoy long twilight. Ice Age climate. The Icelandic forest service has done a tremendous job with afforestation for the past decades. Balestrand on the Sognefjord has a temperate climate with mean annual temperature 6.6 °C (43.9 °F). One of the more interesting trends to come out of the afforestation movement is how the Iceland Foret Service is choosing to plant non-native seeds. Despite only 1,3 % of Icelands total area is covered with trees, Iceland has some forest, and couple of them are natural. Photo from Wikimedia. During the Second World War, the occupying American forces built a number of bunkers on the hill. 2 vols. Replanted forests, like this one, are becoming more common in Iceland. Birch forest in Skaftafell, South Iceland. Þórsmörk has a Birch Forest. Regeneration was anlaysed after clear felling was set up in Thordarstadaskogur National Forest, North Iceland. Where do you need to travel to find the most spectacular waterfalls? Camping and other accommodation nearby. The Friendship Forest was established in 1990 alongside the National Reclamation effort, Landgræðsluskógar, a movement which pushed to begin repairing the country’s infertile soil and treeless plains. During the early 20th century, the Iceland Forest Service promoted single-tree selection instead of clear-felling, the goal being to prevent forest clearing. Our volunteers help us take action to right this wrong, one small plant at a time. For Saemundur Thorvaldsson, a government forester who works with volunteer groups and farmers in the Westfjords region of northern Iceland, the “right” tree about 30 … Photo from Wikimedia. All rights reserved. The island is volcanic in origin with basaltic soils, and the cold northerly climate prevents any significant crop agriculture. Birch, willow and grass became more and more prominent at the same time as the forest cover was diminishing. unesdoc.unesco.org. Eighty-eight species have, up to recently, been nesting regularly in the country. 1.2 Assessment of SOC change in Iceland. La ceinture nordique de forêt sub-arctique-sub-alpine de bouleaux à Fennoscandia, Peninsule [...] de Kola, en Islande et au sud du Groënland est unique. That amounts to around 492 km 2 out of a land area of 103,000 km 2, according to the United Nations Global Forest Resource Assessment in 2015. 1995. An age-old problem. Search Catalog Close. Hallormsstaður National Forest is considered to be Iceland's largest forest. It is clear that afforesting Iceland is very much at the forefront of this nation’s environmental plan. The region is home to sweeping valleys and mountain ranges, dotted with lava fields, large glaciers, hot springs and impressive waterfalls. How has Guide to Iceland changed since its conception? But over the centuries, deforestation has reduced this to just 5%. Covering approximately 600 hectares, over one million different trees have been planted in Kjarnaskógur in the last fifty years. Small numbers of Rowan however spread along within the birch stands. The first of these reasons is to fix soil erosion, a problem exacerbated by the fact that almost all land in Iceland is used for sheep grazing. Jóhannesson—is the Friendship Forest’s official guardian, whilst its care and maintenance are left to the Icelandic Forest Service. Regarding berries, visitors will find an abundance of raspberries and redcurrants, dependant, of course, on what time of year one visits. Next to the station is a 50 year-old planted forest where imported trees grow together with Iceland's only domestic tree, the birch. More prominent at the forefront of this country remains are found here was chosen to its. Species biodiversity is relatively low, forests cover less than half a percent of Iceland, according to the 12th! 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