Closed for Maintenance, Open for Voluntourism

Voluntourists helped Faroe Islanders preserve their green islands

 

From 26-28 April, 100 volunteers from 25 countries were welcomed by the Faroe Islands to join forces with locals to lay the groundwork for a more sustainable future for their unspoiled islands.

With over 3,500 applications to take part received from around the world within the first four days of launching the campaign, the pilot project saw the temporary closure of ten popular tourist sites in the Faroe Islands, with key maintenance projects identified by local municipalities, tourism centres and villagers.

Projects completed by the Maintenance Crews over the weekend included creating walking paths in well-trodden areas, constructing viewpoints to help preserve nature and protect birdlife sanctuaries, re-building ancient cairns and erecting signs and posts to aid wayfinding.

The 100 volunteers stayed in villages where they met and dined with locals.

Although the Faroe Islands currently do not suffer from overtourism, the fragile natural environment in a few popular tourist locations has felt the effects of around a 10% growth in visitors over recent years.

Our archipelago, nestled halfway between Iceland and Norway, now sees around 110,000 visitors each year, attracted by the volcanic islands’ dramatic scenery, abundance of birdlife, friendly Faroese people and our 80,000 sheep.

On the Saturday night of the two-day project, the volunteers and local teams enjoyed a celebratory meal for all those who came together to help. Participants sampled local beer, enjoyed Faroese DJ sets and took part in traditional chain dancing – a Faroese folk dance accompanied by ballads sung by the dancers.  

We hope that our new project may inspire other countries to follow suit and to set up their own Maintenance Crews, encouraging visitors to help in whatever way is needed to redress the impact of tourism.

Following a successful pilot scheme, we plan to roll out another closed for maintenance, open for voluntourism weekend in April 2020, with final dates to be confirmed.

Read more here about how you can sign-up for 2020.

Voluntourists helped Faroe Islanders preserve their green islands

 

From 26-28 April, 100 volunteers from 25 countries were welcomed by the Faroe Is...

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