Siblings invest in Icelandic forest Skip to content

Siblings invest in Icelandic forest

Karl Wernersson and his sister Ingunn Wernersdóttir, both prominent business figures in Iceland, have bought the forest Galtalaekjarskógur in Galtalaekur near Mt. Hekla, south Iceland, from the International Organization of Good Templars (IOGT) in Iceland.

The IOGT have operated projects in the forest since 1967 when the organization secured access to the facilities in the forest with a lease, but have since bought the 84-hectare land along with a camping area and a service center, Morgunbladid reports.

The siblings bought the land via their company Váttur hf. Gudmundur Vilhjálmsson, Váttur’s spokesperson, would not reveal the price of the investment, but said it had been fair for both parties. Vilhjálmsson said Váttur had been given permission from the local authority to construct a summerhouse region in the forest.

“But there will be continued forestry in the area, that is clear,” Wernersdóttir told Morgunbladid.

Einar Hannesson, the head of the IOGT’s regional council, said the organization is saddened by the sale, but that it had been financially impossible to continue running operations in the forest.

IOGT’s earned most of its profits during the first weekend in August, Verslunarmannahelgin, when people go camping and participate in outdoor festivals throughout the country, and IOGT has traditionally hosted an annual non-alcoholic festival in Galtalaekur.

The festival became less popular after more and more towns around Iceland began organizing festivals of their own.

“A few years ago business wasn’t so good anymore. Attendance had reduced considerably and we lost a lot of profits,” Hannesson said. “We’ve been here for 40 years and therefore it is very regrettable to lose this land.”

Click here to read more about Karl Wernersson.

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