Trøllanes farmers consider charging tourists
The mountain terrain on the northernmost part of Kalsoy is worn down by large numbers of tourists hiking in the area.
And, according to tenant farmer Jóhannus Kallsgarð, the footpath is in poor condition, and sheep keeping is being disturbed by all the tourists.
He adds that the large number of visitors to the area has tamed the sheep to an extent that it is now difficult to carry out sheep drives.
Charging is ‘fair and necessary’
Kallsgarð says the time has now come to introduce a charge for people hiking in the mountains.
The money would be spent on maintenance of the terrain and to improve safety for hikers.
He adds that it wouldn’t hurt if farmers also earned a little for themselves from the booming tourist industry.
A growing trend
This is not the first instance of charging tourists for hiking. With the number of tourists increasing every year, farmers across the country as considering introducing charges.
It started in Mykines, where a charge was introduced with the objective of preserving bird life on the islands and to improve the pathways. It now costs DKK 100 to walk beyond the beaten path.
>> SEE ALSO Hiking in Saksun no longer free of charge
Farmers in Saksun have long been concerned about the large numbers of tourists visiting the village, and now an automatic toll gate is being installed on the road to the popular beach in the village.
Hiking to the popular tourist spot of Trælanípan, the steep cliff at the southernmost end of Leitisvatn from which slaves and criminals used to be hurled, now costs DKK 450 with a guide and DKK 200 without.
Hiking disturbs wildlife
Jóhannus Nattestad, one of the owners of the land surrounding Trælanípan, says that about 30,000 people have walked to the Trælanípan in recent years. This, he says, has significantly worn down the terrain, and it has had grave consequences for birds, sheep and plants in the area.
The sheep have moved away from the Trælanípan area seeking other pastures. Farmers have had to remove ten sheep from the Trælanípan and plan to remove another ten this autumn.
In their efforts to improve the conditions in the area, farmers have invested in new parking spaces and have made new and broader pathways to the popular tourist spot. They have set up a shed where they charge tourists and offer tea and coffee.
Translated by prosa.fo