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U3A Botany Group - 28 August 2015

by Beryl Matthews - 08:43 on 02 September 2015

Six members of the Botany Group and one guest had an interesting day exploring three different areas of Sanday.

At the island’s pier the Group was met by Mrs Rosemary Newton who was the driver, for the day, of the bus owned by the Sanday Afternoon Club.  Having admired the view from Warsetter (the highest point in Sanday) we visited the area around Boloquoy Mill where we found:Common Mouse-ear, Hogweed,  Pineappleweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Angelica, Devil’s-bit Scabious, Forget-me-not, Silverweed, Bird’s-foot-trefoil,  Hawkweed, Selfheal, Meadow Vetchling, Sneezewort, Knapweed, Creeping Thistle, Mint and Yarrow.

By the time we reached Whitemill Bay it was deemed time for a picnic lunch.  Seldom could we have enjoyed better scenery as we ate.  Then it was time to explore the marshy ground behind the dunes where in addition to many of the species we had seen earlier we foundYellow Rattle, Eyebright, Red Bartsia, Red Campion, Carnation Sedge, Marsh Marigold, Ragged Robin, Marsh Pennywort, the seed head of Northern Marsh Orchid, Bistort, Blue Water-speedwell, Hare’s-tail Cotton Grass, Lady’s Bedstraw and an abundance of Grass-of-parnassus.

As we drove to ‘Roo’, the home of our driver, to see the impressive plantation of around 15,000 trees that she and her husband have developed over the past 10 years or so we saw:

Comfrey, Rosebay, Willow Herb, Woundwort and an unidentified blue flower that caused much discussion.

During a very brief stop at Roos Wick we saw:

Sea Rocket, Scentless Mayweed and Orache but failed to find Oyster Plant.

As the rain came down we headed for the Heritage Centre followed by the Belsair Hotel and finally the boat back to Kirkwall.  We had found the majority of the flowers listed in the Sanday Development Trust’s leaflet ‘On linksland and coast ….. Sanday in flower’, explored a few of Sanday’s 87 miles of coast and hoped to return another year to explore more.


Sitting on deck in glorious sunshine for the outward journey.

An accommodating, informative bus driver who took us to interesting and varied habitats.

Several Swifts zipping around the skies.

For one member, having an annual dip in the cool waters of Orkney.

A curious ‘flat’ rainbow.

Splendid tea, coffee and cakes at the Belsair Hotel.

The Group’s next meeting is planned for Tuesday 15th September to explore Russadale.  (map reference 539119).  More information as to where exactly to meet later.

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