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Caithness Field Club Bulletin
Vol 5 No 1 April 1989
THE NORTHERN STUDIES CENTRE
To remedy this situation an institute to be known as the Northern Studies Centre, has been established to cover Caithness, Orkney and Shetland. It is a charitable trust which will aim to involve local interest and initiative in the pursuit of activities of a practical, scientific and cultural nature. Examples of projects which have been identified to date are as follows:-
1. Climatic change in Northern Scotland: influence of the 'greenhouse effect' on wild plants and agricultural crops in Caithness and Orkney.
2. Mesolithic evidence in Caithness and Orkney, and comparison with Shetland settlement in the light of new evidence in the Ice Age.
3. Agriculture: land use patterns and rural employment in Caithness, Orkney and Shetland in the context of changing national agricultural and conservation policies.
4. Astronomical investigation of stone settings in Caithness and Sutherland.
5. Land ownership in Shetland, from an analysis of old records.
6. Investigation of the decline of seabird colonies in Shetland.
The Centre will:
1. Encourage research and initiate projects.
2. Liaise with researchers elsewhere in the UK and other countries to assist research on the-northern counties and make the results known in the area.
3. Publish summaries of research and make these available to schools, colleges and libraries.
4. Establish a data base of work published on geology, landscape, plant life, archaeology, history, agriculture, forestry and industry.
5. Help to organise and fund high quality lectures and conferences in the area.
6. Help with courses relevant to the development of the area training for tourism.
7. Produce an annual publication giving an account of its work and its plans for the future.
Highland Regional Council have made available, on a 10 year lease 2 rooms in Halkirk School for the Centre's administration. Financial support is being sought from Caithness District Council, Orkney Islands Councils and Highland Regional Council. Almost £14,000 has been raised privately and an extensive membership and sponsorship appeal for the centre will be launched shortly.
This is an auspicious financial start to an initiative which will highlight the northern counties, add to the dynamism of the area and increase the awareness of Caithness, Orkney and Shetland as important research resources.
Further financial support is still needed and full details of the Centre's constitution and proposals are available from the Director, Donald Omand, University of Aberdeen, Department of Adult and Extramural Studies, Braal, Halkirk, Caithness, KW12 6XE.
MID WALES TOURS
Many members will know Eric Talbot, honorary Vice President of the Field Club and formally lecturer in medieval archaeology in the University of Glasgow. He carried out excavations at the Clow chapel site and the Bishop's Palace Scrabster, and also has lectured on a number of occasions to the Field Club. His latest venture, in which we wish him every success, is the formation of Mid Wales Tours which specialises in archaeological and historical study tours offering the following services:-
1. Residential tours, based in Brecon, and covering 'Kilvert Country' at weekends and undertaking 'A Celtic Pilgrimage', during the week. All tours start and finish at Hereford. Weekends will involve visits in the Clyro, Hay-On-Wye, Llanthony and Brecon areas whilst the 'Pilgrimage' will take participants as far afield as Llandaff (and the Vale of Glamorgan) and St David's Cathedral. Bookings can now be made for the period April 21st to October 27th. Weekend tours start at 2pm on Friday (coinciding with the end of the mid-week tour) and finish at 2pm on Monday - when the week's tour begins. Prices will vary according to the type of accommodation chosen.
A service is offered to organise accommodation, travel and, if required,
a courier for those University and fieldworking and extra-mural Departments
who would like to take advantage of what southern Powys (i.e. the Brecon
Beacons National Park) has to offer. Neighbouring areas can be covered.
3. A courier/booking/enquiry service can be provided for archaeological groups wishing to organise trips to Wales, Scotland, Isle of Man, the Republic of Ireland, Denmark and Cyprus.
Further details may be obtained from Eric at Kensington House, Brecon, Powys, Mid Wales, LD3 9AR.
The New Caithness Book: Coming soon.
At the AGM held in April the following members of committee were elected:
Chairman Alan Abernethy
Members of Committee - Brian Hughes, Gordon Maclachlan, George Watson, Ernest Jones, Margaret Abernethy, Elizabeth Rintoul.
RESTORATION OF MILL
SUMMER PRQORAMME 1989
Friday to Sunday 19th - 21st May
Sunday 11th June
Sunday 25th June
Sunday 23rd July
Sunday 20th August
Sunday 17th September
DOGS The committee wishes to emphasise that dogs must not be taken on any of these outings.