November 2, 2022 | By:

Rewilding Iceland By Replanting Native Forests

This is a great project returning native forest cover to Iceland with the goal to raise coverage from the current 2% to its historic 25%-40%. Notable is the focus on native tree species over non-natives that, while they might suck more carbon from the atmosphere, do not belong in Iceland.

Read about more great rewilding projects from the team at Mossy Earth.


“In Autumn 2021, we joined forces with the Iceland Forest Service to restore the native birchwoods of Iceland. Iceland is known for is vast open landscapes shaped by massive volcanos and expansive glaciers, but these woodlands are a vital part of the landscape. They are the only woodland type to form in Iceland, and provide food and shelter for biodiversity, help to stabilise soil, provide windbreaks, and sequester carbon.

At one point, it is thought that 25-40% of Iceland was covered in birchwoods. Now, it is a mere 1.5%.”

“Our project aims to restore birchwoods to a degraded upland area on the west coast of Iceland by planting. While natural succession would likely convert this area to woodland eventually, it could take centuries or even millennia. To speed up this process, downy birch is being planted across the landscape, with some scattered rowan, aspen, and tea-leaved willow to add diversity. You can read more about it here.”

-Mossy Earth

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