Species on the Edge Daily Nature Walk

Where: Meet at the Ring of Brodgar car park

When: Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th May, 7am - 9am

With: Species on the Edge Orkney

Cost: Free 

Booking Required: No, just turn up on the day. 

Contact: For more information email [email protected]   

Join the Species on the Edge Orkney team each day for an early morning walk around the 2km RSPB Brodgar nature reserve footpath to discover this wildlife haven in the heart of Neolithic Orkney.  On a gentle stroll on the grassy path, enjoy wildflowers, babbling curlew, lapwings displaying, buzzing bumblebees, and perhaps even a selkie seal or two!  We will also try some mindfulness to connect us to nature in this special place.  All welcome – anyone under 16 should be accompanied by an adult. 


RSPB & St Magnus Way Guided Walk

Where: RSPB Hobbister reserve car park, Orphir 

When: Saturday 18th May 10am – 12pm 

With: Lucy Mortlock, RSPB Assistant Warden and Stuart Little, St Magnus Way Trustee. 

Cost:  Free  

Booking Required: Yes  

Contact: [email protected]  

Join us for an informative walk along the St. Magnus Way at the RSPB’s site, Hobbister. Our RSPB guide will be delighted to talk about the variety of habitats, birds and plants that call Hobbister home, and answer questions about the site. We will look out for hunting Hen Harriers, silent Short-eared Owls and burbling Curlew, and turn our eyes to the ground for cottongrass, asphodel and maybe a sundew or two!  

The site is a mixture of sea-cliffs and moorland, and the ground can be quite uneven underfoot. Please wear strong walking shoes and bring your waterproofs in case of showers. Please bring drinks and snacks as there are no catering facilities nearby. There are no toilets at the site, with the nearest public facilities being at Waulkmill Bay. Adults and accompanied children welcome. No dogs. 


Nature Family Day

Where: Kirkwall Grammar School

When: Saturday 18th May 10am – 1pm

With: Orkney Nature Festival

Cost: Free 

Booking Required: No booking needed to attend, booking of timeslots to visit Hope will be available in person on the day of the event

Contact: [email protected]

Come and join a selection of different nature groups and organisations for a day of family fun to celebrate the wonderful aspects of Orkney's natural world. There will be interactive activities and stalls from groups such as the RSBP, Restoration Forth, and the University of Strathclyde. There will also be an opportunity to get up close to Hope, a life-size, inflatable humpback whale from Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) - and there is even the chance to go inside and learn more about their anatomy, and threats to their survival. There will also be a display of local artwork from entrants to our design-a-postcard competition!


Guide in a Hide - Birdwatching for Beginners

Where: The Loons hide        

When: Thursday 16th & Saturday 18th May 10am - 1pm

With: RSPB Scotland 

Cost: Free event 

Booking required: No, drop in at any time during session. 

Contact: RSPB Scotland - Email: [email protected]  

If you are new to birdwatching, drop in for some tips from our Guide in a Hide. Mike will help you identify the birds you see and answer any birding queries you may have. If you are a more advanced birder, come along and spend some time birdwatching with us. 


Skara Brae Nature Weekend (18th & 19th)

Where: Skara Brae

When: Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th May 10am - 4pm

With: Historic Environment Scotland

Cost: Included in entry ticket to Skara Brae.

Booking Required: Please pre-book in advance to guarantee entry.  


Contact: [email protected]

Visit Skara Brae for a fun-filled nature themed weekend! Learn about how the Neolithic people engaged with nature, and how that has changed in the past 5000 years. Follow our nature trail to try and spot some local wildlife, try out some bird watching with our binoculars and get creative with our crafty corner.


Snorkeling Safari with Kraken - Fully Booked

Where: Churchill Barriers

When: Saturday 18th May 10am & 1pm

With: Kraken Diving

Cost: £50 (5th person free for group booking) 

Booking Required: Yes, limited to 5 people per session

Contact: 07933 492349 or [email protected]  

The underwater world is one of the final unexplored areas on the planet, with almost 80% of it still unexplored. Incredible shows like Blue Planet have helped bring the wonderful and sometimes crazy creatures that live in the marine world into the public mind. Many people focus on warmer climes such as the Great Barrier reef when thinking about the ocean, but the UK has some incredible and diverse life surrounding it. On this snorkel safari being put on especially for Nature Festival we will be showing you around one of Orkney's finest and safest snorkelling areas to try and find some of these underwater creatures in the comfort of their own home. Whether lured in by the hypnotic sway of the kelp gardens and seaweed, or enjoying the numerous anemones, starfish and crabs there is a huge range of different creatures and colours to see. We do our snorkel at the same location as WW1 and WW2 shipwrecks so if you want you can even spend some time exploring some historical sites which now act as artificial reefs, making them a haven for sea life and birds.  

All equipment will be provided, including dry suits, to keep you warm and dry.  

No previous snorkelling experience is required. You can take the session at your own pace with close support from PADI Instructors and Divemasters. There is no need to be a strong swimmer as the Churchill Barriers are very sheltered, although you do need to be comfortable around the water. It should be possible to spend up to 60 minutes in the water, although you are welcome to come out sooner. 


Impressions of Nature Workshop - FULLY BOOKED

Where: RSPB Cottascarth hide

When: Saturday 18th May 10.30am - 12.30pm

With: Soulisquoy Printers

Cost: £10 per child, £5 per accompanying adult.

Booking Required: Yes 

Contact: [email protected]

Session 1 - Suitable for families with children over 5 years. Children must be accompanied by an adult and no more than 2 children per adult  All materials will be supplied. Please wear old clothes or bring an apron or workshop suitable clothing. 


Brodgar Bug Bash - CANCELLED

Where: Brodgar. Meet in car park.  

When: Saturday 18th May 11am - 12.30pm  

With: RSPB Scotland 

Cost: Free event 

Booking required: No, drop-in session. 

Contact: RSPB Orkney - Email: [email protected]   

Join us at Brodgar where we will be searching for all the bugs we can find by using nets and pots. Equipment will be provided or bring your own to use. Staff will be on hand and full of fun facts. Ages 5+, parent/guardian supervision required.


Shoogly Pencil Club - CANCELLED

Where: Orkney Library, Kirkwall

When: Saturday 18th May 11am - 1pm  

With: Orkney Library

Cost: Free

Booking required:  

Contact:[email protected]

The Shoogly Pencil Club is holding a special one-off arty session for Orkney Nature Festival where we will doodle, up-cycle and create art inspired by nature and wildlife. It is a free event held at Orkney Library and is run by artist Ellen Forkin. The event is on 18th May at 11am-1pm and is for children age Primary 3 to Primary 6. To book, phone the library on 01856 873166 or email [email protected]


Feature workshop – Making Seals with Katy 

Where: No 25, Bridge Street, Kirkwall

When: Saturday 18th May 11am – 1pm

With: Orkney Creative Hub

Cost: £20

Booking Required: Yes via their website www.orkneycreativehub.co.uk

Contact: [email protected]  

Orkney Creative Hub are pleased to support the Orkney Nature Festival 2024. Come along to create your own nature themed project in our groups.  We cover a range of arts and crafts from painting and drawing, using a variety of media, to needle felting and doodling, printing and knitting and crochet. All materials supplied, all skill levels welcome. Young folk under 12 will require an accompanying adult. Look up their website for more details and to book.


On the Edge at the Ring of Brodgar 

Where: Meet in Ring of Brodgar car park    

When: Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th May 1pm  

With: Historic Environment Scotland & Species on the Edge 

Cost: Free event 

Booking required: No, turn up on the day. 

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

Join the HES rangers and the Species on the Edge People Engagement Officer to find out about the ring and why it is such an important place for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable species. 


Impressions of Nature Workshop - FULLY BOOKED

Where: RSPB Cottascarth hide

When: Saturday 18th May 2pm - 4pm

With: Soulisquoy Printers

Cost: £20 per person

Booking Required: Yes 

Contact: [email protected]

Session 2 - Suitable for adults and young people 16yrs +. All materials will be supplied. Please wear old clothes or bring an apron or workshop suitable clothing. 


Rockpooling Event

Where: Brough of Birsay car park 

When: Saturday 18th May 3-5pm 

With: Seasearch Scotland

Cost:  Free  

Booking Required: No, just turn up on the day

Contact: Karen Boswarva [email protected]

Join Seasearch and local experts for a fun family event exploring the rockpools around the Brough of Birsay and discovering the creatures within them. A limited number of rockpooling kits available or bring your own equipment. 


Snorkel Trail

Where: Stromness Museum 

When: Saturday 18th May 7pm – 8.30pm 

With: Scottish Wildlife Trust & Stromness Museum 

Cost: Free  

Booking Required: Yes, https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/snorkel-trail-co-creation-night-tickets-857214761427?aff=oddtdtcreator

Contact: Katy Firth [email protected] 

Come along and help us create a new snorkel trail for Orkney. Join this gathering, hosted by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Stromness Museum, to find out more and together create something spectacular! Booking is not essential but is recommended to secure your place. Refreshments provided. Can't make the event? Visit the Stromness Museum throughout the Nature Festival and add to the snorkel trail ideas board in the foyer. 


West Side Cinema: The Velvet Queen (12A) 

Where: Stromness Town Hall

When: Saturday 18th May Doors open 7:15pm for a 7:45pm start 

With: West Side Cinema

Cost: £5 / £3 student and Young Scot card 

Booking Required: No booking required, there are up to 190 seats available. First 90 to arrive will have table seating. 

Contact: NA

In the heart of the Tibetan highlands, multi-award-winning nature photographer Vincent Munier guides writer Sylvain Tesson on his quest to document the infamously elusive snow leopard. Munier introduces Tesson to the subtle art of waiting from a blind spot, tracking animals, and finding the patience to catch sight of the beasts. Through their journey in the Tibetan peaks, inhabited by invisible presences, the two men ponder humankind's place amongst the magnificent creatures and glorious landscapes they encounter along the way. 
We’ll be joined after the screening by wildlife photographer and cameraman Raymond Besant, and author and journalist Cal Flyn, where they will discuss themes in the film and in particular the quest to find something elusive in nature.    
Raymond's recent work includes ‘Scotland - The New Wild’, ‘Frozen Planet 2’, ‘Wild Scandinavia’ and ‘Springwatch’.  
Cal has been published in ‘Granta’, ‘National Geographic’, ‘The Sunday Times’ and ‘The Economist’, and her latest book ‘Islands of Abandonment’ was serialised for BBC Radio 4. 


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