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.