Naughty Sheep Won’t Leave the Mountains Skip to content

Naughty Sheep Won’t Leave the Mountains

It has been unusually warm in Iceland this fall, to most people’s delight. However, some farmers are not as happy as it has proven a struggle to herd their sheep down from the mountains. While the grass is green the sheep want to stay in highland pastures.


Icelandic sheep. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Sigursteinn Hjartarson, farmer at Nedri-Hundadalur in the Dalir region in west Iceland, told Morgunbladid that herding has been trying. “The sheep have become naughtier. They jump around and try what they can to escape. They scatter all over the place.”

Jón Gíslason, farmer at Stóra-Búrfell and mountain herding director of Audkúluheidi in the northern highlands, has a similar story to tell. “It is always difficult to deal with the sheep when it’s warm but we managed somehow.”

They had to herd three times to retrieve all the sheep from the mountains. “We just go again and again until people have counted all their sheep and none are left.”

Gíslason is surprised at the warm fall. “It is incredible. I have never experienced such weather before. It has never been so continuously warm over the course of the entire autumn,” he said.

Last month was among the warmest Septembers on record in Iceland, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

In Akureyri the average temperature was 9.7°C (49.5°F), which is 3.4°C above average. In the capital the average temperature in September was 10.2°C (50.4°F)—2.8°C higher than usual. It was the sixth warmest September in Reykjavík and ninth warmest in Akureyri.

The past summer was also unusually warm in Iceland. When September is taken into account, it might prove a record summer.

Click here to read more about the summer weather.

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