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In this section, you can find just a small sample of some of activities with which the project has been involved.
An Arboretum for Orkney
Rather hidden away, at the end of Muddisdale Road in Kirkwall, is a large area of young woodland which was planted about ten years ago. It consists mainly of good hardy species including Common and Sitka Alders, Sycamore, Swedish Whitebeam, Ash, Wych Elm, Hawthorn, Downy Birch and Willows. It’s gradually turning into an attractive area of urban fringe woodland and the path through it (which leads on up to Wideford Hill) seems to be well used by dog walkers and cyclists, which is good to see. The trees are mostly growing well and this seems a wonderful opportunity to start to make this area into Orkney’s own arboretum - a living library of what trees can grow here in our windswept islands. In the shelter of the existing trees, we want to start introducing some less obvious species and see how they fare. Some may not survive, but we won’t know until we try! Any suggestions or contributions of trees (of known identity please) are very welcome!
Aspens for Scapa Flow
Aspens are lovely! I make no apologies for that completely subjective statement - just look at their lovely leaves! But they are more than just pretty faces - they are survivors! There are very few tree species which can survive, all be it in stunted form, on cliff edges where they are constantly lashed by salt spray, but our aspens have clung on for thousands of years. We want to give them a break!
Root cuttings are being collected from the different aspen stands and are going away to be micropropagated and then grown on into hopefully thousands of new plants. They can then be planted in slightly more benign sites in good soil and they should flourish! (This project is being carried out in conjunction with additional funding from the Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Project.)