Actions Planned for Reykjavík Nature Reserve Skip to content

Actions Planned for Reykjavík Nature Reserve

The condition of Vatnsmýrin, the wetlands around Tjörnin, the Reykjavík pond, has been deteriorating for many years in spite of being a nature reserve.


Tjörnin. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

There was hardly any nesting there last summer and the birdlife around the pond has never been less diverse. However, actions to improve the reserve are now underway.

“The pond is one of Reykjavík’s most valuable treasures and we don’t want to lose it,” Karl Sigurðsson, who chairs the City Council’s environment and transport division, told Morgunblaðið.*

A new report on the condition of the pond’s birdlife is coming up—every year a new report has pointed out how the condition is unacceptable given the bird stocks’ importance in Vatnsmýrin and that measures are necessary for improving it, reports.

Very few ducklings were seen by the pond last summer which is not surprising given the condition of the nesting grounds, which hasn’t been protected in spite of having been under preservation for more than a decade.

The nesting grounds are open to both people and animals and aggressive plants have claimed large parts of the nature reserve.

“Both chervil and thistle dominate the plant life and birds cannot nest in these areas because the vegetation is too dense,” explained Þuríður* Helga Kristjánsdóttir, project manager of the Nordic House, which is located in Vatnsmýrin.

The Nordic House has now prepared an action plan to save the nature reserve in collaboration with the University of Iceland and City of Reykjavík, which will be carried out in the summer of 2012. Tenders for the project will be called for this week.

Dykes will be dug in the western part of the nature reserve. Invasive plant species will be removed and replaced by wetland vegetation. Sedimentation ponds will be made in the main stream, water flow is to be secured and part of the silt in the main pond removed.

Click here to read more about the Reykjavík pond.


* The Icelandic letter ð is pronounced like th in that.

The Icelandic letter þ is pronounced like th in thunder.

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