Wildfjords Restoration, Iceland
The project is located in Iceland’s wild and mountainous West Fjords region, a landscape of rugged rock and steep sided fjords. Though retaining its wild character, land use has dramatically altered the ecology, with approximately 95% of the original forest cover removed, wetlands drained for farmland and non-native tree species planted. Increasing tourism also threatens the region’s sensitive flora. Working with local partners, the project will restore native boreal birch forests via propagating and planting 10,000 native tree seedlings, which will support lichen, insect and fungi populations. Internationally important waterfowl wetlands will also be restored by filling in ditches, and ancient cairns will be mapped and restored in a newly proposed national park, Látrabjarg. Cairn restoration will create a network of walking trails while ensuring impact on fragile habitats is kept to a minimum. The project will create an integrated management plan between public and private sectors, prioritising bio-diversity, and will offer an alternative to current decision making procedures.