This video shows how eroded land in Iceland can be converted to native birch woodlands in an eco-friendly way with the help of lupin.

Graystone Heath lies south of the village of Húsavík in North Iceland at elevations of 200-300 m a.s.l. The area is badly eroded after centuries of overgrazing. Erosion is still active and vegetation decreases. Plants are not seeding into the eroded areas despite 30 years og protection from grazing. Land like this releases CO2 into the atmosphere and is part of the climate problem. The nitrogen fixing Nootka lupine was seeded into part of the area in 1993. It has since spread slowly. The lupine halts erosion and starts to build up soil. It eventually declines, but on this site it does not lead to a great increase in soil fertillity. Except where birch was planted a few years after the lupine was sown. There, the lupine remains strong. And the birch grows well, which it does not do without the lupine. Willows and other plant species seed themselves into the developing ecosystem, helped by the synergy between birch and lupine. Clearly, a birch woodland is developing with all the biodiversity and productivity that goes along with that. Also clearly, carbon release has turned to net carbon sequestration in vegetation and soil. Another 2000 hectares in the area are waiting to do the same good and hundreds of thousands of hectares in all of Iceland.