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Caithness Field Club Bulletin
Some members may have made notes of the butterflies they have seen, or may be willing to keep notes on them. The distribution of all species is of interest for the national recording scheme.
If you are interested please contact Mr. R. J. Lilly, Tofts of Tain who will accept records or advise on what volunteers can usefully do to help.
Records are particularly needed for the following Ordnance Survey 1Okm squares: NC(29) 93, 95, ND(39) 02, 03, 04, 13, 14 and 25.
The Buildings and Settlements Group
The first project selected is a detailed study of the settlements in the Broubster area. Initially it involves gathering together the information which is already available, such as aerial survey, maps, written records, legal documents, land ownership etc., and later will be followed by ground surveying and recording, collecting of family history and whatever else is useful in creating a comprehensive picture of the former life of the settlement.
Any member of the club who has information about the area, or who wishes to take part in the project should contact J. K. Butler Thurso 3549.
Wild Flower Survey Group
Orkney Field Club Study Hut on Hoy
Forms are available from Mrs. J. W. Traill Thomson, Garson, Stromness, Orkney. Tel. Stromness 304.
Applications can be made at the same time for living facilities at the Youth Hostel next door, although this cannot be guaranteed as the Youth Hostel is run by a different authority.
The Thurso Society
The society has now started a project to form an archive of early photographs of the Thurso parish. Any member who has such photographs which they would be prepared to lend for copying should contact the secretary, Mrs. M. A. Spencer, 22 Barrock Street, Thurso. Tel. Thurso 3027.
There then follows a section on the peat, dealing very well with the whole range of peatland forms. Some pollen analyses are used to display the vegetational history of the district, and these are particularly welcome because so few exist for the area. There are then sections on vegetation, agriculture and forestry - alas all too short or superficial to add usefully to the main work.
Almost half of the text is devoted to appendices of definition and data, with a rich collection of typical chemical and physical analyses and plant community data.
But it is when one examines the two maps, both on one inch to the mile scale, that the true size of the task is apparent. The soil map shows the distribution of 43 types of soil, while the land use capability map grades the area into five classes of usefulness.
This is a lasting contribution to the literature of the county which is reasonably priced for a rather specialised book.
Anna Ritchie: The kingdom of the Picts: Chambers: 1977, 48 pp. illus., £1.10. In the years 1970 and 1971 Dr. Anna Ritchie directed an excavation at Buckquoy in Orkney which proved to be quite exciting because it eventually revealed the remains of a Pictish house dating from around 700AD. This book, aimed at school children, is one of a series of 'The Way it Was' histories and shows plans of the Buckquoy excavation together with a drawing depicting the reconstruction of the house. Despite the age group for which it is intended it is an excellent introduction for the adult general reader who wishes to find an introduction to the Pictish period. It is very well illustrated with photographs, maps and diagrams and includes chapters on Pictish art, everyday life of the Picts, and the Pictish church.
Margaret Aitken: The Island of Stroma: Caithness Books: 1978, 7pp., 15p. The author of this little booklet lived with her husband at Stroma lighthouse between the years 1955 and 1961. She gives an account of the history of the island up to the time the last resident finally left to live on the mainland. Information on the years 1870-1957 has been gleaned from the school log books left in the deserted school. This is a welcome addition to the history of Caithness.
New Stone Rows Discovered
CAITHNESS FIELD CLUB
Sunday May 21st
Sunday June 25th
Sunday July 23rd
Sunday August 27th
Sunday September 24th
Sunday November 12th
Subject to suitable weather it is hoped to arrange a visit to the island of Stroma in June. Members interested in making a visit should keep in touch with members of the committee.
If suitable accommodation can be found it is hoped to arrange a weekend excursion in September. Details will be available later from members of the committee.