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Mid Hus Island Archipelago

The Mid Hus Island Archipelago consists of about 2500-hectares of land, including a 29-hectare main private island (Shrubbery Isle) and 85 smaller isles and islets, the largest of which are 6-hectare and 2-hectare respectively. Albeit being just 27km below The Arctic Circle, Shrubbery Isle is “carpeted” with some rich vegetation. Accompanying these isles and islets is a 270-hectare mainland area consisting of a 400m high steep moun ...

The Mid Hus Island Archipelago consists of about 2500-hectares of land, including a 29-hectare main private island (Shrubbery Isle) and 85 smaller isles and islets, the largest of which are 6-hectare and 2-hectare respectively. Albeit being just 27km below The Arctic Circle, Shrubbery Isle is “carpeted” with some rich vegetation. Accompanying these isles and islets is a 270-hectare mainland area consisting of a 400m high steep mountain peak, a flat farmland and a wetland peninsula formed by a river-mouth.

Two mountain water wells belong to the property, one especially supplying the property houses, and another which is also a border point and thus shared 50/50 with a neighboring government property, and has already for a quarter century fully served a strong village plus its several businesses, with fresh mountain rock filtered water. The property houses, built after middle of the 20th century of iron armored concrete, are geothermally heated for year-round comfort.

A huge littoral zone belongs to the property, reaching up to 1km offshore at low tide. It is rich with various sea weeds and hundreds of migrating swans, spring and autumn, loudly singing, let themselves float in on the incoming tide to feed on the abundant eelgrass. The property is teeming with bird life, so much so that a scientist dedicated a few pages in her new book on bird life to the eider nesting colony there. Various other duck species nest there as well as terns, sea gulls, puffins, cormorants, sparrows, oystercatchers, loons, owls, ptarmigans, birds of all sizes from red-necked phalaropes to white tailed eagles make the property their home, to name a few. Seals lazily sunbathe on skerries in-between the isles, arctic foxes scurry along shoreline in search of prey.

The Mid Hus property was founded late ninth century when a seafarer named Úlfur Högnason (úlfur – “wolf”), the great, great grandson of Hjörleifur, king of Hordaland (the area around the current city of Bergen, Norway), settled the whole of Reykjanes on the northern shore of Broad Bay on which this property is situated. Reykjanes – “smokey peninsula”, got named as the settlers, approaching from sea saw something they took for smoke but was in reality steam from geothermal wells on the peninsula. Úlfur was the great grandfather of Leifur Eiríksson, i.e. “Leif the Lucky”, who is credited with being the first European to set foot on The American Continent, some 500 years before Christopher Columbus did.

The Norse settlers brought with them the tradition of harvesting down from ducks nesting in the isles, down for use in exclusive bedding and since its settlement, or over 1100 years, the Mid Hus property has been a constant source of this wild down for its owners apart from serving them well for traditional farming. The isles are the same today as they appeared to Wolf, the Norse seafarer, as he approached land sometime late ninth century - untouched.

Since 1907, the property has been within the same family and for the past three decades, instead of conventional farming, it has housed a family business for the processing, washing and worldwide export of eiderdown.

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