North Walls Kirk,Lyness, Hoy


The garden

We are led to believe that the total area of the garden exceeds half an acre - before our time here it was used for growing vegetables and some of the soil is very arable. We have endeavoured to generate cover from the prevailing winds and the last few years have yielded good growing conditions. As a consequence we have many trees and shrubs now established in the garden - these include both native and non native varieties. The result is a good growing environment for anyone who is keen at gardening. Hoy benefits from the 'Gulf Stream' so frosts and snow are rare.

The garden contains an old greenhouse which is used for growing and storage. The road edge is walled with a dry stone dyke.

Along the western edge is sited the septic tank and its soakaway .


The garden has a  healthy ecosystem and it supports wild flowers, insects and breeding birds. Bird life in Orkney is very varied and regular visitors to the garden include  blackbirds, wagtails, sparrows, greenfinches, siskins, robins, wrens, starlings, pigeons and hooded crows. On occasions we do see rarer species like pheasants, shorteared owls and hen harriers which live on Hoy. During the spring and summer months skylarks, pipits, curlews, and lapwings are just some of the more obviou sspecies breeding in the  surrounding fields..  Also recorded in our garden was the proof of the first successful breeding of Cuckoos in Orkney when we were able to observe a meadow pipit feeding a young Cuckoo. Swallows nest in our fuel store throughout the summer too.

We are also surrounded by livestock farming of sheep and cattle. Flocks of wild geese graze  all  year round  in the  fields nearby.


There are  extensive views within the house and  garden, to all  points of  the compass. On a clear day you can see to the North of Scotland and Thurso, Ward Hill on Hoy, South Ronaldsay and  Wideford Hill on Mainland Orkney.   There are broader views of Scapa Flow  just  a short walk to a viewpoint a little further up the road towards Crockness.

At all times of the year, day and night, the colours and patterns in the skyscape and landscape here are a constant changing spectacle.