Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Papay Wildlife Club: Papay’s rainforest

09/06/2016 - 13/06/2016

£50 – £545

The maritime heath of North Hill – a one-inch high sward of flowers, of global conservation importance – will be celebrated on this Papay Wildlife Club holiday. Appreciation of the likes of Scottish Primrose (Primula scotica) will be complemented by time to study Papa Westray’s seabird cliffs and perhaps even a visit to the Holm of Papay.

The coastal heathland of North Hill is a very special environment. The wind and salt-clipped vegetation is home to the Scottish Primrose which should be at the height of its first flowering during this holiday – this rare plant is found nowhere else other than a few special spots around Orkney and the far north coast of Scotland.

Other specialities include Spring Squill and Foula Eyebright. Here and there, Creeping Willow is found amongst the other dwarf shrubs, and as you go further from the sea, Mountain Everlasting can be found. Arctic Skuas and Bonxies (Great Skuas) breed across the moorland, as do Dunlin. Time will also be spent on the contrasting dwarf vegetation on the lime-rich sand at Links of Moclett (Papay’s characterful golf course). Adder’s-tongue Fern, orchids, Common Milkwort and Limestone Bedstraw are amongst the species which occur here.

Seabird cliffs will also be a focus. Fowl Craig on North Hill has a small colony of Razorbills, Guillemots, Puffins and Shags, as well as a touching statue commemorating the tragic demise of the last breeding pair of Great Auk in Britain, which were killed here in 1812 and 1813. Tysties (Black Guillemots) abound around the coast of Papay. A wealth of other birdlife is found around the island, with this early June holiday being at the height of the breeding season.

If the weather allows, we shall see if we can get to the uninhabited Holm of Papay. This very special and rarely-visited place is a favourite of Dixe Wills, author of Tiny Islands: 60 Remarkable Little Worlds Around Britain. The islet’s wildlife includes another maritime heath speciality, the Small Adder’s-tongue, as well as one of Orkney’s finest Neolithic chambered cairns.

As with all Papay Wildlife Club events, knowledge of the full breadth of Papay’s wildlife – from beetles and mosses to seals and dolphins – will be on hand. Each evening there will be talks on seasonal wildlife and identification sessions, another gentle guided walk, or you may prefer time to yourself on the long spring evenings.

Price: £545 per person. £50 Single Supplement.

For further information and booking please contact Jonathan Ford (Papay Ranger).

Tel – 01856 252028. Email – papayranger@gmail.com Facebook – papay ranger.


£50 – £545


Papay Development Trust / Papay Ranger
01856 252028
papayranger@gmail.com, Facebook - papay ranger.


Papa Westray