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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

£52

ENGINEERING THE FUTURE

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? ...

OUTING: WAVE POWER AT BILLIA CROO

From Old Academy, Back Road, Stromness

Orkney’s the world’s leading centre for testing wave and tidal power systems – indeed it was the world’s first, with the establishment of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in 2003. Since then marine energy devices have come from many places to face the full force of Orkney sea conditions, with the tidal power converters going to Eday and the wave energy ones to Billia Croo, out to the west of Stromness.

£10

EARLY POTATOES AND EDIBLE CLAY

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. Samples obtained by Panama-based geologist Dr Stewart Redwood show the clay contains two forms of the mineral montmorillonite ...

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. Using DNA sequencing and other biomolecular methods it’s possible to build a picture of the evolution of bere over the centuries – revealing that it’s been grown in Orkney since the Bronze Age, 4000 years ago. ...

THE SURGE OF WAVE AND TIDE – AND HYDROGEN

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. ...

WHAT MAKES VIRUSES TICK?

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 ...

THE EARL, THE BISHOP AND THE SPRINGTIME OF SCIENCE

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. ...

A LAND OF LIMESTONE

Virtual Event Virtual Event

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. ...

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