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Exploring Papay


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A wonderful booklet guide to the island of Papay.

By Jocelyn Rendall with illustrations by Crispin Worthington and Inga Hourston.

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£ 5.00

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Papay is a magical island, well worth a visit and this is just the book to tempt you.

'A most beautiful little isle, rich in excellent corn and luxuriant natural grass. The uncultivated part like a carpet spread with al the flowers in a season...' The Rev. George Low 1771

Like so many other visitors to Papay, George Low was impressed by the island's extraordinary fertility. Although the climate is harsh and the low-lying treeless landscape is bleakly exposed to the prevailing south-westerly gales, it was the capacity to grow 'excellent corn and luxuriant grass' which shaped the island's history more than any other factor. It encouraged settlement here from at least the 4th millenium BC and throughout history the isle was clearly regarded as valuable estate despite its small size.

As a result, Papay is exceptionally rich in historical interest. Even in an archipelago with such an overwhelming wealth of prehistoric monuments as Orkney, the Neolithic sites on Papay are outstanding... 

The land which supported a substantial Neolithic population and attracted land-hungry Vikings is still Papay's chief asset and most of the land is in grassland farms, with the exception of North Hill, which is managed for the conservation of its maritime heathland plants - including the rare Scottish primrose - and its seabirds.

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