Iceland - Land of Ice and Fire

A new BBC documentary explores the dramatic landscape, resourceful people and diverse wildlife of Iceland.

Iceland – Land of Ice and Fire follows the lives of some of the country's most famous animals, including the arctic fox, eider duck and Icelandic horse as well as the people who work with them.

However it's not just the wildlife that takes centre stage, the breath-taking scenery of the Westfjords, the valleys of Kolbeinsdalur and the Bardabunga volcano are also featured.

The documentary also follows the lives of Icelanders who make the most of their country's resources without impacting the environment.

One such local is Thor the traditional Eider farmer. As well as undertaking the painstaking process of trawling the Eider ducks' nest for fresh Eider, he also helps to hatch the eggs that are struggling – rearing them until they are ready to re-join the wild.

BBC documentary: Iceland - Land of Ice and Fire
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Iceland - Land of Ice and Fire
Arctic foxes aren't always white, they come in three different colours: brown, blue and white. The foxes were the first land mammals to populate Iceland back in the Ice Age. 
These Icelandic horses are the only breed allowed in the country, but can also be found in Europe and North America. Although they are small they are also tough and intelligent animals that are still used for traditional farm work in Iceland. 
Each year Thor collects eider down from the nests of the wild birds on his farm, this is then used for jackets and duvets. Thor also helps to raise any eggs that are struggling to hatch and then teaches them how to swim and find food in the wild. 
September 2014 saw the eruption of Holuhraun volcano which created a 85km2 lava field. After the initial erruption, fissures sent fountains of molten lava as high as 100m into the air while earthquakes shook the ground every minute or so.
Every September the Icelandic horses are rounded up from their summer wanderings in the Highlands. The day is a big event which marks the return of the horses to their owners, this often turns into a struggle between these stubborn horses and their tough owners. 
As a result of the effects of Global Warming, the Icelandic glaciers are retreating, the sea is warming and the climate is changing. 
More than half of the world's population of Atlantic Puffin is bred in Iceland and they can be found nesting in burrows on the tops of cliffs. The effects of global warming mean their population is already declining in the south of the country. 
This is one of Thor's eider ducklings who is about to take on a swimming lesson. It'll only be a few weeks before she is ready to return to the wild and live in the cold climes of the North Atlantic with the rest of her breed. 
This is Siggi, one of Iceland's abseiling egg collectors on the remote island of Grimsey. Each year there is the annual harvest of eggs from the thousands of sea bird nests that cover the cliffs.  It's a sustainable process as the birds will lay another egg to replace the one that has been taken. 
The stunning Dettifoss Waterfall was made famous by Ridley Scott's film 'Prometheus' and is a significant part of Iceland's breathtaking landscape. The high levels of rainfall, rugged terrain and excess of rivers means that Iceland has the perfect landscape for waterfalls, although no one know quite how many there are in the country.

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