Out at the north-west tip of Deerness, it's a place of high cliffs, their ledges ideal for sea-birds, and wild heathland. First stop is The Gloup, a collapsed sea cave, then we follow the path along the coastline giving good views of the North Isles on a clear day. We will look for wildlife including birds, flowers, insects, cetaceans.
Is there any way to shift from our current self-destructive path to a more stable world? Yes, say the pioneers in the new field of transition engineering, developed to tackle big complex global problems in a systematic way. Daniel Kenning and Prof. Susan Krumdieck explain how we can develop route maps for the future.
Up on the high plateau of the Bolivian Altiplano around Lake Titicaca, where the potato was domesticated, the Aymara people eat their potatoes with a light white clay. But why? Samples taken by geologist Dr Stewart Redwood give a clue to a vital step in the story of the potato's development into such an important crop today.
How far back can we trace the origins of bere, Orkney’s six-rowed barley? A very long way, says Prof. Terry Brown of Manchester University. Using DNA sequencing and other biomolecular methods it’s possible to build a picture of bere's evolution over the centuries – revealing that it’s been grown in Orkney for more than 4000 years.
News continues of further Orkney developments in renewables. At sea there are new wave and tidal devices on site. On shore there are vanadium flow batteries to smooth the tidal-powered production of hydrogen in Eday. Speakers from the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) report on the latest developments.
Ticks – and the diseases they carry – are an increasing problem in Scotland. A new project at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research seeks community assistance to report locations. Two team members, Dr Benjamin Brennan and Sam Langford, introduce tick biology and identification – and how to stay safe.