Vestrafiold Quarry…… Inaccessible Beach Clean-ups…… We Learn Something New Every Day….Different Kinds Of Action….

by Bernie Bell - 08:12 on 26 April 2023

Vestrafiold Quarry……

Another informative article from the Ness of Brodgar Trust website…..


…which reminded me of the abandoned quarries and monoliths of Rapa Nui ( Easter island)….



Inaccessible Beach Clean-ups……

I saw this on the Orkney Wildlife Facebook page….

Orkney Field Club

We can all recall Atlantic Grey Seal pups born onto beaches alongside aquaculture and fishing debris. Salmon Scotland has introduced a scheme to remove bruck from remote/inaccessible beaches and it would be great if EVERYONE takes them up on this and reports locations needing attention. Summer would be an ideal opportunity to get at those South Parish and Outer Isles beaches - before pupping begins again.

Reports should be sent to reportdebris@salmonscotland.co.uk

The full press release can be found here


…and think it’s a very good idea – small boats – taking care not to disturb wildlife – taking away the rubbish – including all those plastic fishing floats that we can’t get to….


It’s not an inaccessible beach, but I previously wrote about how ‘Scottish Sea Farms’ helped out with a big old wreck of a fishing float – in this article….


“And on, round to the Bay of Puldrite, with its salmon cages.  We recently got involved in a bit of help-to-keep-the-sea-clean activity. I was shouting over the fence with our neighbour – keeping our distance –  and he told me that there was a big wreck of a mooring buoy – the kind used for fish cages – washed up on the beach at Puldrite. The outer plastic had broken up and the inner pellets of polystyrene were spilling out. He’d had a go at pulling it away from the beach, but it was too heavy. He asked me do I know of any organization that might help.

I don’t, but I asked our friend, who’s boyfriend works on the salmon cages, if she had any idea. She suggested that our neighbour could contact Scottish Sea Farms, and he did.  Next day, folk from Scottish Sea Farms came to the bay, and took the wrecked float, away – thus saving the sea from having a lot of polystyrene pellets in it, and therefore, marine life from having polystyrene pellets in them!

Pic courtesy of Steve Davey

We all felt pleased about this – it’s only a drop in the ocean of all the rubbish in the sea, but …… it does mean that a lot of pellets are now going to be disposed of safely, instead of being ingested by marine life, or birds.  Scottish Sea Farms helped out, even though this particular buoy wasn’t one of theirs – theirs are all present and correct – they took prompt action to remove this one and will dispose of it with their own waste.  A real example of community spirit in action.”

Whether salmon farms are a good thing or not – is a whole other discussion!


We Learn Something New Every Day….

Our neighbour’s ducks are being killed by something, but not eaten. Whatever it is goes for the neck, kills the duck, then leaves the body. A hard thing for them to find, as they care for their creatures. 

We suspected stoats, so our neighbour contacted the Orkney Native Wildlife Project…..


They said it sounds like a stoat – and what’s more, a brooding female.  Apparently, that’s what they do – they kill something, then leave the carcase for their stoatlets ( if that’s the right term) to eat.  We learn something new every day. 

The ONWP are going to come with a trap/traps and cameras, and, hopefully, there will be no more duck fatalities.

If anyone reading this feels inclined to pick me up about whether it’s OK to kill one species and not another – I’ve been through that argument previously in the comments to this article…


I’m writing this because it’s something we didn’t know, and that others might be interested to know, about the ways of the stoat.

It’s also helping to keep people stoat-aware.


Different Kinds Of Action….

Sometimes I feel as though my life is falling away from me.  I’m less and less able to do things, and there are less things that I’d want to take part in.

Then I look at the world, and how it’s coming apart at the seams – politically and naturally.

I’m old and have had a life which has been full of interest and enjoyment - if living a quiet life now is what I need to do, then that’s what I need to do.

But what about the young ones?  Many don’t appear to take much notice – as long as they can fill their Tesco trolly, have a telly in every room and at least two holidays in the sun a year, they don’t/won’t look at what’s happening around them, to their world – they don’t want to see.

Some do take notice and take action, and end up with longer prison sentences than actual criminals…


The young man featured in the piece from ‘Emergence’ magazine…. https://emergencemagazine.org/ entitled ‘The Nightingale’s Song’ takes action in his own way – by connecting with the life around him that others are destroying…..

The Nightingale’s Song

A Conversation with Sam Lee

"To mark the beginning of England’s nightingale season, we revisit our conversation with acclaimed folk singer, conservationist, and song collector Sam Lee, who steps into the forest each spring to sing with these beloved birds. In this interview, Sam reflects on the ancient musical kinship between humans and nightingales—melodies shared and silences exchanged—and the parallels between folk music and birdsong that embody deep connection to place. Finding a re-enchantment with the Earth through his practice, Sam speaks of the great importance of listening, and, as Britain’s nightingale population declines, a hope that music might offer the bird a path back into cultural consciousness."

Available on...

Apple Podcasts    Spotify   Stitcher  Google  TuneIn   Amazon


Here’s one I made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2021/01/03/kirkhouse-revisited-1-1-2021/

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