Snaefellsjokull

Off the beaten track

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One of the qualities which attracts visitors to Iceland is its wilderness, and all that open space can tempt people into testing their driving skills and the capabilities of their cars.

Off-road tyre marks near Krafla
Off-road car tracks in volcanic sands near Krafla

Unfortunately, as Guðbjörg Gunnasdóttir (Manager of Snæfellsjókull National Park) explained to me, these are very fragile environments which are easily damaged and susceptible to erosion. Soils tend to be loose, vegetation is very fragile and water can be channelled along tracks increasing soil erosion.

Tracks can take decades to recover and so the Environment Agency of Iceland is trying to raise awareness of this issue so that everyone can experience Iceland’s raw beauty.

Old re-vegetated track near Krafla
Old re-vegetated track near Krafla
Leaflet warning of the consequences (environmental and criminal) of illegal off-road driving.
Leaflet warning of the consequences (environmental and criminal) of illegal off-road driving.

We have seen quite a lot of evidence of old trackways on the Icelandic landscape. The one below was from our first day on the Reykjanes peninsula, where the compacted soil had been colonised by different species to those found in across the surrounding marshland.

 

 

Snaefellsjokull volcano

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We’ve spent a few days exploring the wonderful Snaefellsjokull National Park. Just a few flowers before David talks about glaciers…….

Grass of Parnassus
Grass of Parnassus
Field gentian
Field gentian

 

Pond with Mares tail
Pond with Mares tail

Palaeo Manchester

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