Guide in a Hide: Peatlands Special

Where: Birsay Moors hide, Burgar Hill, Eviea view across peatland with blue sky and clouds

When: 10am - 12pm Wednesday 17 May

With: RSPB Scotland 

Cost: Free event. Donations welcome.

Booking required: No. Drop in at any time during session.

Contact: Jo Wells - Email[email protected]

Come along to this drop-in session at the hide and learn about the special peatland habitats in Orkney and why they are important for nature and our climate. We will, of course, also be looking out for birds.


Wild Walking - Shapinsay

Where: Meet at the ferry pier, Balfour, Shapinsay     a view across an area of wetland with blue sky and clouds

When: 12pm - 3pm Wednesday 17 May

With: Species on the Edge

Cost: Free event

Booking required: Yes. Maximum 20 people. Please email to book.

Anyone travelling to Shapinsay will need to arrange own ferry travel 

Contact: Sam Stringer - Email: [email protected]

Join us for a 3-mile nature walk on the beautiful inner isle of Shapinsay.  We will stroll from the ferry pier to Mill Dam and back, walking at a gentle pace on quiet roads stopping to spot birds, plants, bumblebees and hopefully a selkie (seal) or two.  We will spend time at the bird hide of RSPB Mill Dam nature reserve - one of Orkney’s important remaining wetlands – and try some mindfulness to connect us to the sights and sounds of nature in this special place. 

This event is being run by Species on the Edge - an exciting new conservation project working across Scotland and in Orkney over the next 4 years.  Dedicated to improving the future of 37 of the rarest and most threatened species on Scotland’s coasts and islands, Species on the Edge will be working with communities, local initiatives, and land managers and create opportunities for people to get involved to save these species for future generations. 

Species on the Edge is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and a partnership of NatureScot and seven nature conservation charities - Amphibians and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and RSPB Scotland.


Stromness to Brodgar Bike Ride

Where: Leaving from Stromness Travel Centre    four cyclists on an evening bike ride

When: 11.30am Wednesday 17 May

With: Cycling UK Orkney

Cost: Free event

Booking required: Recommended. Book here 

Contact: Magdalena Choluj - Email: [email protected]

For Orkney Nature Festival, we would like to invite everyone to join our daily bike rides from Stromness Travel Centre to the Ring of Brodgar, and take part in the FREE nature walks delivered by Historic Environment Scotland and RSPB Scotland Rangers.

We will meet daily, from Tuesday 16th May until Friday 19th May, at 11:30 am outside Stromness Travel Centre (next to the Bike Hub), and ride together at a slow pace, to join the walk (start at 1pm). We will cycle back together after the end of the walk. Simply bring your roadworthy bike with you and dress for the weather. Don't forget to bring a packed lunch with you. Please note that participants under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult of 18+. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with [email protected]

Hope to see you all there!


Seasearch Shore Walk

Where: St Peter's Pool, Deerness    seagrass under water

When: 12pm - 4pm Wednesday 17 May 

With: Karen Boswarva, Seasearch

Cost: Free event. Merchandise will be available to purchase.

Booking required: No. Drop-in session

Contact: Karen Boswarva - Email: [email protected]

Join Seasearch Orkney and Shetland Coordinator Karen Boswarva and local experts for a walk along the shore recording the variety of marine species and habitats exposed by the tide. Wellies or sturdy footwear advised.


Brodgar Guided Walk

Where: Meet in Ring of Brodgar car park   

When: 1pm Wednesday 17 May

With: Historic Environment Scotland & RSPB Scotland

Cost: Free event

Booking required: No. Turn up on the day.

Contact: Historic Environment Scotland - Email: [email protected]

HES rangers will be joined by RSPB Scotland staff to help you learn more about the ring and the wider landscape in which it sits. Find out just how much effort went into creating this wonderful site and the birds and animals you can see at it.


Oceans of Value Film Screening and Workshop

Where: Stromness Town Hall                         the words oceans of value with an orkney map and seascape behind

When: 7pm - 8.30pm Wednesday 17 May

With: Scottish Wildlife Trust

Cost: Free event. Donations welcome

Booking required: Yes. Book here

Contact: Rebecca Crawford - Email: [email protected]

Come along and watch our Community Voice Method film featuring some weel kent faces. Topics explored in the film include Orcadian traditions and dialect related to the sea, how people use the coasts and seas, the key issues and hopes for the future. At the interactive workshop we will discuss topics raised in the film and you will have the opportunity to share what your priorities are for planning how we use and protect Orkneys marine environment in the future. All welcome.


An introduction to SMASS and the study of a fin whale stranding in Orkney

Where: Online via Zoom 

When: 7.30pm Wednesday 17 May


Cost: Free

Booking required: Yes. Book here

Contact: Tom Hadley - Email [email protected]

Come and join the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme team to hear about their work. They will give a brief overview of the research they undertake and what they hope to learn. The team will then talk about the fin whale that many of you may remember that stranded on Burray in 2021. The team will outline the findings from the necropsy of this animal as well as explaining how they gather their data and work with local organisations such as BDMLR Orkney and OMMRI teams.


If you attend any of the Orkney Nature Festival events in 2023, it would really help us if you could take a minute to complete the very brief feedback form here. Thank you.

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