Gunnþóra Ólafsdóttir is a human geographer and academic researcher by training. Her research to date has focused on human-nature relationships and nature-therapy in the context of tourism and leisure practices. Recently she published findings from a multi-disciplinary research that brings together different concepts and methods from environmental psychology, health psychology, physiology, cell-biology, epidemiology and human geography to investigate nature-therapy. Gunnþóra’s research interests reflects her love for the great outdoors; her passion for understanding what happens when people are exposed to nature; and for using this knowledge for the greater good. For the same reason she recently added Nature and Forest Therapy guiding to the mix where she received training at the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy . ANFT is committed to “develop a solidly grounded practice that supports the well-being of people and, by connecting them with nature, inspire people to become advocates for healing our relationships with the More Than Human World.” In Forest Therapy, the guide works in partnership with a forest where the forest is the therapist and the guide opens the doors.
Íris Lana Birgisdóttir works as a social worker with cancer patients at Landspítali. Íris Lana became certified as a yoga instructor from Kripalu Institute in Lenox Massachusetts USA the year 2000 and has worked as a yoga instructor in the past. Íris Lana lived in Canada from the year 1999 and spent a lot of time out in nature and noticed the health benefits from spending time in the forest. Íris Lana became certified as a A.N.F.T guide in the fall 2023
Fossárskógur, is a beautiful forest and recreational area located in Hvalfjörður fjord, within 40 minutes driving distance from Reykjavík. The forest is named after the scenic Fossá river and waterfalls that characterise the area and naturally split the forest in half. Alongside the east river bank there are remnants of the original birch forest that once covered 25-40% of Iceland’s land area. On the west side of the river is a wonderful mixed forest with a network of trails for recreation and leisure. The land is owned and maintained by the Forrest Associations of Kópavogur, Kjósarhreppur, Kjalarnes and Mosfellsbær. Their volunteers have planted over 900.000 trees over the past 50 years, mostly variations of birch, pine and spruce. The natural richness of the forest and the tranquil atmosphere on the trails offer a natural getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.