SWT members recall visits to Orkney, north Northumberland and Tanzania

Our last indoor meeting included the AGM and three mini slide shows.

The committee was re-elected en bloc, plus Dr David, who is currently on the staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh and specialises in bryology (mosses, liverworts and hornworts).

Around 70 trees have been labelled in the SWT area of Duns Castle Estate, with more nest boxes being fitted and there are plans for more interpretation boards within the next year.

Pease Dean is suffering from the loss of convenor, Harry Edie. Sycamore have been removed, many mature native trees have also been chopped down. A tree will be planted and a bench installed in the dean to commemorate Harry later this year.

An SWT work group cleared rubbish from Gordon Moss but the local centre (us) weren’t advised about it.

Summer walks have been organised until indoor meetings resume in September.

Ron McBeath thanked everyone and reminded everyone about the coffee morning on September 28.

Andrew Mitchell shared photos of his safari trip to Tanzania and Kenya. The video of a pack of hyenas taking down a wildebeest was shown at the end for those interested and while it was gruesome it was indeed nature in the raw.

Myra Watson had been to Orkney last summer with Duns Walking group, staying in the hostel and gave a full slide show of the trip.

Orkney never looked better. A thunderstorm as they caught the ferry at Scrabster was followed by a spell of glorious weather and the sun shone as they passing the 137m high red sandstone stack known as the Old Man of Hoy.

A visit to one of the crannogs was reached by stepping stones, but when they realised they were being followed across by cattle, they swiftly retraced back to dry land.

A trip out to see the Neolithic Ring of Brodegar standing stones is a must on Orkney. Never fully excavated, there are 27 stones currently standing out of what is calculated to have been 60 megaliths originally. Believed to be a circle,

Brodegar is the third largest stone circle in the UK, erected between 2500 and 2000BC.

The village of Skara Brae, dating from around 3000BC, survives as eight individual dwellings linked by low passages. Each house is laid out as a large square room, with a central fireplace, beds on either side and shelves of the wall opposite the entrance. The Skara Brae settlement incorporated a sophisticated water drainage system that is thought may well be an early form of indoor toilet.

Roger Manning, closed the meeting with a fabulous talk on his sightings around north Northumberland. The next evening meeting is May 18, when members will identify moths at Gordon Community Woodland.