We hope this section will carry brief reports of formal and informal Club outings and activities. Please feel free to add comments and information.

New Year Ramble

by Admin - 14:09 on 06 January 2014

We had analysed and procrastinated over several weather forecasts and decided that Thursday 2nd January offered the best chance of a dry day. Oh dear! Gusty wind and horizontal rain greeted us as we gathered at the Tesco car park and a furious, grey sea washed over the road at the start of our walk; St Nicholas Kirk, Holm. Yesterday had been such a beautiful day…

However, by the time we had walked up the hill past Cornquoy and to the cliffs, the sun was out and we were treated to a grand view of the Bay of Semolie. We marvelled at the dramatic waves below, and walked on dodging dazzling seaspray. Fulmars were seen, and the occasional Rock Pipit. The Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) had issued their annual challenge for folk to find as many flowering plants as possible on/around 1st January. Sadly, the exposed nature of our walk only provided Daisy (Bellis perennis), Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) a grass (Poa annua) and crowberry buds (Empetrum nigrum). It was more a day for a good walk, rather than nature study.

This little-visited stretch of coastline offered an unusual aspect to Copinsay and far-reaching views along the Burray and South Ronaldsay coastline.  We stopped to inspect the Old Beacon - and for a welcome cuppa – before continuing to the new lighthouse at the very point of Rose Ness. Turning our backs to the wind we walked around the peninsula and down to the shore, where each of us soon picked up more than our “Three Pieces” of nasty plastic marine litter.

On the way back to Howes Wick we parried words with some (infamous) belligerent land managers who did not wish us to proceed as the tide was too high to allow us to safely pass along the beach. Eventually they grudgingly escorted us past their property reminding us to check for low tide before visiting again.  However, our numbers (14!) and sense of purpose, politeness in wishing them “Happy New Year” maybe spoiled their day more than it did ours. Fear of passing this property is, perhaps, one of the reasons why Rose Ness is so under-visited.

By the time we returned to our cars the sea had calmed down considerably, the sun was still shining and some of us made a diversion to inspect the damaged road at Graemshall. All in all, an excellent start to 2014.

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