The Final NIFA – North Ronaldsay

We have only been on the island for just over 24 hours but what a lot we have packed in!

The first thing one HAS to do on North Ron is to walk down to the rocks to see the sheep.  So once we had settled in and had a coffee, that is what we did.  The sheep obliged:

We watched for a bit, then they took off round the corner, so we walk along the other way to see the Atlantic breakers – which also obliged:

As we returned the sheep were on the rocks once more – but this time they didn’t like the look of us and so they gave us a good demonstration of why they are called ‘short tailed’!

This morning our first stop was the New Kirk where there is an exhibition of photos and documents from the island over the years.  Every time I go I find something new and for those at Ganseyfest it was here that I first saw the photo of Johnny Cutt in his gansey.

We have hired a car, but it only takes 5 and there are 6 of us, so despite the wind, each time some folk started walking.  After the Kirk it was the same system so Maddy and I were taken up to the lighthouse in style and left there while Byron went back for the others.  By now the sun was out and the colours on the grass and water were very intense.  Once we were all there, it was time for our tour of the mini mill.  Jane had very kindly given up her Sunday morning to show us round, and a lot of questions were asked and discussion had!

After wool and roving had been bought it was back to the Bird Observatory for lunch.  And then, still in sun and wind, we set off for Howar to visit June Morris and her animals.

June has several breeds of sheep, from tiny Oussent (a French breed, the smallest breed of sheep in the world) to the huge Herdwicks.  This is one of her North Ronaldsay rams:

He is only 3 years old and his horns will grow even bigger over the next few years!

In another field are the North Ronaldsay ewes, all of whom come running when June appears (she is the one in the red coat):

Then there are the alpaca.  Like the sheep, they come running to June even when she doesn’t have feed bowls in her hand!

Those of you who have been with this blog over the summer will have seen the two babies (crias) born just before we visited in July.  They have now grown considerably:

Tomorrow morning we say goodbye to Anna K, Maddy and Byron.  Anna S, Jane and I fly up to Shetland for Wool Week…..

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2 thoughts on “The Final NIFA – North Ronaldsay

  1. Gotta love those North Ronaldsay. It is now getting cool enough that I can start wearing my shawl and I see them every time I put it on.

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