Sunday 12th May
Going Wild in Kirkwall
Muddisdale woodland walk
An exploration of one of Orkney’s many young woods. Learn about the different tree species in the woodland and its development over the last 12 years from Jenny Taylor of the Orkney Woodland Project, who instigated its planting. Find out what wildlife has colonised the woodland – plants, bugs and birds from Julian Branscombe, including some special summer visitors that have found the site to their liking. After the walk, visit the Picky for tea and coffee and to view the winning photographs in the Orkney Camera Club and RSPB local group’s wildlife photography competition ‘Wild Orkney – the way I see it’.
Time: 8.30am – 10am
Meet: Pickaquoy Centre car park
Booking: No need to book
From the Peedie Sea to the St Magnus Centre
You’ll be surprised by how much wildlife we’ll find on this mystery tour to uncover Kirkwall’s natural wonders, big and small. We’ll be hoping for 100 species of plants and animals in total but will we get that many? Walk leader and urban wildlife explorer Julian Branscombe promises to return to the Peedie Sea and jump in if we don’t make it to the ton.
Time: 11am – 1pm
Meet: Peedie Sea, model sailing club hut
Booking: No need to book
Wildlife in the aisles – Orkney Nature Festival service
All are very welcome to the Orkney Nature Festival service, conducted at St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall by Rev Fraser Macnaughton. This service of just over an hour, in its wonderful setting – the Cathedral being known as the ‘Light in the North’ – adds a further dimension to the Festival, beautifully complementing the week’s opportunities to worship wildlife in the wilds.
Wildlife in the Isles – stalls at the St Magnus Centre
Drop in to the St Magnus Centre, Kirkwall, to browse stalls and displays, and take part in wildlife activities. The Orkney Woodland Project, Scottish Natural Heritage, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, RSPB Wildlife Explorers, the RSPB local group and the Orkney Field Club are amongst those who will be there with information about all things wild in Orkney. There will be a chance to see beautiful mosses, lichens and algae under the microscope, and mini-beasts are likely to make an appearance. While you’re there why not put in your vote for Orkney’s ‘Big Five’ – the five animals or plants that you think are Orkney’s most iconic species?
Time: 2pm – 5pm, please drop in
John Rae’s fiddle and great northern divers – passing travellers
Sunday 12th of May is World Migratory Bird Day, whilst 2013 is the bi-centenary of the birth of Dr John Rae. We have two talks over this busy evening. First, Julian Branscombe explores the avian links between the Arctic and Orkney, describing the birds that John Rae could have seen in the Canadian Arctic but which can also be seen, either regularly or on rare occasion, in Orkney – species like the great northern diver and Arctic redpolls. Then Mark Shiner, instrument maker and restorer, will talk about an important passenger on John Rae’s journey – his fiddle. This precious artefact has been lovingly restored by Mark into good playing order, and it is now on display at Stromness Museum. The evening will include refreshments, and it promises to be a fascinating and eclectic combination!
A joint event between Orkney Nature Festival and Another Orkney Production’s, ‘Celebrating Scapa Flow’ weekend, in conjunction with A Screen on the Square.
Venue: Cromarty Hall