06 May 2014
Discover the moorland of Hobbister of 1855...

Discover the moorland of Hobbister of 1855...

...in the company of a Victorian naturalist

Orkney Nature Festival is offering a 19th Century morning on the moor as the

2014 Festival’s opening event on Saturday 10thMay. The tour combines the famed

distillery tour with the opportunity to spend time exploring the flanks of Hobbister

Hill with a Victorian naturalist who will take you straight back to May 1855. In his

company you will hear how wildlife fared in the 1850s and see something of the rich

botany, ornithology and entomology of Orkney’s historic heath and mire. Join him in

collecting specimens of mosses for your collection.

There will be the chance to read the cover of The Orcadian of the day, for local news

and the latest on the progress of The Crimean War. Our naturalist’s keenest focus

will be to share his enthusiasm for the wealth of wildlife to be found. However, you

may be able to tease out his views on the stir being caused by Archer Fortescue

of Swanbister in the transformation of his estate and the life of those there, or the

growing debate on the Age of the Earth or indeed that infamous publication, Vestiges

of the Natural History of Creation.

This fascinating short walk will then move on to see how peat is traditionally cut.

Having met one of Highland Park’s employees showing the old way of doing

things, RSPB’s latterday reserves officer will then lead us back to our starting point,

explaining the wildlife of today.

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