WALK TO THE LOCH OF WASDALE

September 8 → 2:00 pm4:30 pm

From Finstown car park (opposite Baikie’s Stores)

Set off on one of the favourite walks of the writer Bessie Skea (‘Countrywoman’) who wrote so lyrically about Orkney’s wildlife and countryside, in the company of several of her family, along with walk leader Lynn Campbell and naturalist Martin Gray. We tried it out last year and you can see some of the highlights of the route in advance and enjoy Bessie’s own words. It’s around 3 miles, and a moderate walk, with stout footwear recommended, and preferably waterproof, and walking sticks would also be useful.

Emma Grieve illustrations for Bessie’s book

A mossy square of meadowsweet spread below the loch, and there was little water in the burn. The willows that grew on the edge of the former winter level of the water, but were now high and dry, had increased considerably in size over the years since our first wanderings along the loch shore. Quite a large area, where water had once been, now grew green with grass and sedgy things. Tiny forget-me-nots, and dainty marsh willowherb rose from the stony bottom; mint, and spearwort, shared their territory. Yellow rattle, and both varieties of red rattle, made spots of rose-pink.

Bessie Skea, ‘Mushrooms and Meadowsweet’

To mark the centenary in 2023 of Bessie Skea’s birth, the George Mackay Brown Fellowship published A Glisk of Sun – an anthology of her writing, edited by her granddaughter Sarah Jane Gibbon, who will be among those on the walk.

Numbers limited to 15: booking essential. Tickets £15.

VIKING FAMILY DAY
SCIENCE OF HEALTH AFTERNOON

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