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WALK: MULL HEAD CIRCULAR

This circular walk takes us around the local nature reserve at Mull Head in Deerness. Here we will pass through a mix of different habitats including farmland, heath and coastal which hosts a range of wildlife including waders, seabirds, wildflowers and insects. Please bring a picnic. Medium 4 hours, Medium, £52pp  Megan’s aim with the Festival walks is to take you off the beaten track where you can see some different wildlife and enjoy Orkney scenery. The maximum group size is 6 people. You are advised to have appropriate footwear for walking, ie walking boots

ENGINEERING THE FUTURE

Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall

Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall We’ve emerged from two years of lockdowns into a world of massively rising energy prices and warnings of food shortages, exacerbated by climate change and war. The real limits to business as usual are becoming harder to ignore. Is there any way to shift from our current self-destructive path to instead a stable environment and a balanced economy, and even a vision of a world with work and housing for everyone? Yes there is, say the pioneers in the new field of transition engineering, developed to tackle big

EARLY POTATOES AND EDIBLE CLAY

Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall

Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy, Kirkwall 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 called p’hasa. But why? Samples taken by the Panama-based geologist Dr Stewart Redwood show the clay contains two forms of the mineral montmorillonite – fuller’s earth and bentonite, both widely used in industry today. And those uses, he says, explain the Aymara way of eating potatoes – and give a clue to a vital step in the process of domestication

ORKNEY’S ANCIENT GRAIN

Virtual Event Virtual Event

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. Through the use of DNA sequencing and other biomolecular methods it is possible to build up a picture ...

THE SURGE OF WAVE AND TIDE – AND HYDROGEN

Town Hall, Stromness

Town Hall, Stromness More marine energy technologies have been tested in Orkney than anywhere else in the world, and news has been coming in recent months of a series of further developments. At sea there are new wave and tidal devices on site, from Orbital Marine, Magallanes and AWS Ocean Energy. On shore there is the coming online of vanadium flow batteries to smooth out the tidal-powered production of hydrogen on Eday. Speakers from the European Marine Energy Centre EMEC report on the latest developments.

WHAT MAKES VIRUSES TICK?

Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall

Orkney Theatre, KGS, Kirkwall Ticks are an increasing problem in Scotland – and Orkney too. Mild winters may be letting them survive into a new spring. Whatever the cause, there’s particular concern about the diseases they carry, including the bacteria that cause Lyme disease and viruses such as tick-borne encephalitis virus (luckily not yet in Scotland). A new project at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research aims to seek the whole community’s assistance in reporting locations of ticks, to help everyone make informed decisions about enjoying the outdoors safely.

THE EARL, THE BISHOP AND THE SPRINGTIME OF SCIENCE

Earl’s Palace, Kirkwall

Earl’s Palace, Kirkwall Find out about an Orkney Earl's marriage proposal, an Orkney bishop's book dedication, and his successor's cousin's great discovery – and how these are all connected to a web of political and religious conflict out of which modern science developed. With music of the time by Kate Fletcher and Corwen Broch. Wear warm clothes as there’s no roof, no seating, and no heating – but plenty of atmosphere! Come to the Orkney Club afterwards for questions or discussion or just to have a drink and chat. With the kind

A LAND OF LIMESTONE

Virtual Event Virtual Event

ONLINE It's a world of rivers and intermittent lakes, sinkholes and limestone pavements, chasms and underground caves. Dr Edvard Kobal describes Slovenia’s karst and the food it produces – apples and plums, beans and turnips, and grapes in loamy terra rossa soil. In association with the Slovenian Science Foundation

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