Arctic Norway photography holiday
Description of Arctic Norway photography holiday
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetThe Varanger Peninsula in Norway close to the Russian border is very remote and home to extensive sea bird colonies. We support Biotope a pro-nature architectural practice, based in Vardø, Varanger. It is the world´s first and only architectural office with special expertise on birds and birdwatching. Since 2009 they have been working with the development of Varanger as a birding destination. Their goal has been to make birding 'big' in Varanger, and to raise awareness of the region's unique and very rich birdlife, both locally and to an international audience.
Fishing which has been the traditional source of income for the island communities is undergoing changes. Big trawlers are buying the fish quotas and often unloading in other countries and possibly damaging wildlife with their trawls. We support policy changes on a national level that could make coastal fishery viable again and thereby support a living fishing community.
Additionally we encourage guests to travel responsibly and to consider the following guidelines:
- When out in wild places, please keep erosion to a minimum, keep to footpaths or rights of way and avoid stepping on, or picking native flora.
- When near wildlife or bird colony’s we minimise human disruption of the natural environment. We take considerable care during breeding seasons so as to not disturb nesting birds and wildlife.
- Take time to carry out some research about Norway’s rural communities
- Water sources in Norway are exceptionally pure and we discourage buying plastic bottled water. A metal or heavy-duty plastic bottle such as Nalgene to refill with water from a safe source is recommended to all of our guests.
- River water could also be a supply drinking water, please do not contaminate river water supplies by washing in it. Any washing products should be phosphate free
- Respect local customs religion, traditions and personal property boundaries.
- Don’t take photographs of local people and places of religious significance without permission.
- Keep promises! Send copies of photos to local people if this is what you have said you will do.
- Read the labels and buy local products such as food and souvenirs so that money directly benefits the community.
- Reduce pollution and carry out all litter. Recycle wherever possible. Norway has one of the lowest levels of environmental pollution in the world and it is good to keep it this way.
Our small group ethos, sharing of transport and preferred mode of exploring locations is by foot thus reducing pollution, environmental noise and damage to what is often an especially delicate ecosystem.
We support the Environment Agency and the National Parks of Norway through passing on information about their policy and raising awareness of current issues and environmental sustainability.
Wherever possible we work electronically and promote considerate use of digital resources. We are primarily web based for all administrative communications with minimal use of office paper.
PeopleDue to the collapse of the fishing industry, particularly in one of our Varanger locations Vardø (2002) tourism is being actively encouraged in an attempt to economically revive the ailing economy. The lack of tourists is particularly apparent in the winter months when we visit. We are actively supporting tourism initiatives by taking time to visit and support the local museums, art galleries and any local initiatives that may be happening. We take boat trips with local operators to support the communities directly. We make our images freely available to organisations that are actively encouraging sustainable community initiatives
Our locations are spread equally across the peninsula. We stay in family run initiatives, guest houses, converted fisherman’s cabins etc. we are rewarded with a very personal service, quieter locations, fresher home grown produce and insight into the lives and folklore of local people. We always ensure that participants on our holidays get the opportunity to see and purchase local products.
For example the Brygge where we stay in Båsfjord has been meticulously and lovingly restored from near dereliction by a young local family. The town still has a strong fishing community, the origins of the Brygge was to provide a place for fishermen to eat, sleep and shower, this facility is still made available by the family. In Båtsfjord we use bird hides built and operated by a small family business, we travel out from the village to some very remote communities using local snow mobile transport as in winter many roads are closed by the snow which can be limiting for local economies.
In Kongsfjord we stay in a village of old fishermen’s houses that have been restored beautifully by a local couple who now offer them as accommodation and they also provide locally sourced food.
All of our service suppliers are informed of our responsible travel policy which is clearly visible on our website.
We recommend that you visit our links page where you will find comprehensive information on travel, health, environmental concerns, preparing for your holiday, local cultures and how to support local projects.
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