Orkney Energy Landcapes Outreach

Join Energy Landscapes project in Eday to explore the story of peat

The island of Eday is the venue for the final field event of the Orkney Energy Landscapes Project, which will explore the story of peat – from its environmental history to peat cutting and exporting from the island.
Cutting peats in the 19th century.

The island of Eday is the venue for the final field event of the Orkney Energy Landscapes Project, which will explore the story of peat – from its environmental history to peat cutting and exporting from the island.

On Tuesday, September 21, Dan Lee, outreach archaeologist at the UHI Archaeology Institute (UHI AI), and Richard Irvine, anthropologist at the University of St Andrews, will be joined by UHI AI environmental archaeologist Dr Scott Timpany (UHI), who will lead some peat coring and wider discussions about environmental change.

A peat-cutting operation under way in Orkney around 1900.
Spreading cut peats to dry.

The first of the two “peat walks” takes place between 10am and noon, and will look for the remains of the island’s “peat railway” – the method used to transport cut peat for export. Those interested in this walk should meet at the Vinquoy Hill water tank.

From 1.30pm-4.40pm, there is a peat coring walk from Sandybank to Whitemaw Hill along the peat track. To take part meet at the EMEC tidal test site.

The events are open to all, but because limited places are available book your place by emailing enquiries.orca@uhi.ac.uk.

Those travelling out from Mainland Orkney will need to book as a foot passenger on the Kirkwall to Eday sailing at 7.40am, returning on the 6:50pm sailing. We will have a minibus so can provide transport on Eday.

Carting dried peats from the bank.

The Orkney Energy Landscapes project is led by the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA), part of the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, in partnership with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews.

Its aims are to explore the past, present and future of energy production and its role in shaping the identity of Orkney’s communities.