Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Snæfellsnes National Park - SEPAC


The theme of the joint issue of 11 small nations in Europe (SEPAC) is landscape. The motif of the Icelandic stamps in this third and last issue is Snæfellsjökull (Snæfell Glacier) National Park. SEPAC stands for Small European Postal Administration Cooperation. This cooperation is primarily concerned with issuing postage stamps but also includes sales and marketing.

The name of Snæfellsjökull  has been known in the world through the novel of French author Jules Verne  with the  title of „Journey to the Centre of the World“.

Snæfellsjökull National Park was founded by a legislation on nature conservation in June 2001 and is the fourth national park in Iceland. The area is characterized by its extremely diverse geology. Formerly it was the site of hectic activity with up to 60 fishing boats and 300-400 seamen during the fishing.

Snæfellsjökull National park lies in the westernmost part of Snæfellsnes peninsula and covers 170 square kilometres.The Park's purpose is to protect and conserve the area’s unique landscape, indigenous plant and animal life as well as important historical relics.

The Snæfellsnes peninsula coast line is very varied.  Rocky coves  alternatewith black sand beaches, light sand beaches and precipitous sea cliffs that teem with sea birds in the nesting season. The lowland within the national park is mostly lava that has flowed from Snæfellsjökull and from smaller craters in the lowland.

As one would predict, the most prominent birds in the area are seabirds. They nest along the entire coastline, and among the species found are guillemot, Brunnich’s guillemot,razorbill, fulmar, kittiwake and shag.

Soil in the outer stretches of Snæfellsnes tends to be quite permeable, but vegetation in the area is nonetheless quite diverse. The coastal area is rich in vegetation and has many clear ponds containing colourful seaweed and cupus.

Thick moss covers the lava in most places, while flowers thrive in sheltered nooks and crannies.The ferns are the most conspicuous. Out of the 16 species of fern found in Iceland, 11 grow here.

Snæfellsjökull  National  park offers a wide variety of hiking routes of all levels of difficulty. Some of them are staked or marked, and most of them are easy to navigate.Resources:  Environment Agency of Iceland

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