Thursday, 10 December 2020

Orkney Native Wildlife Project

In recent weeks I have begun planting these beautiful  pieces of rose quartz (see below) in connection with the stoat trapping work being carried out by the Orkney Native Wildlife Project.

Orkney is renowned for its wildlife and has a wide range of ground nesting breeding bird populations of both national and international importance, including short eared owls, hen harriers, red throated divers arctic terns and curlew as well, as its own endemic species of vole. In 2010 stoats were introduced into the Isles and these non-native mammals have spread rapidly across mainland Orkney and beyond.  Sadly these amazing animals predate on the eggs and young of native birds and will also take Orkney voles, and thus have the potential to decimate many of Orkney's renowned and globally important wildlife populations, as has happened elsewhere in places such as New Zealand.

The Orkney Native Wildlife project was set up  in 2017 in response to this challenging situation to provide education about the local wildlife and the threat stoats pose, as well as eradicate the existing stoat population and prevent their reintroduction. The project is not without controversy as a recent tally of animals caught by some 500 traps (out of a planned 700) already placed, showed that they were inadvertently catching a variety of wildlife as well as their target species, 242 rabbits, 48 mice, 18 hedgehogs, 10 voles and 9 frogs and toads and 4 cats to date. However the traps have now been modified to have much smaller entrance holes and it is still felt by the wildlife bodies concerned that the longterm benefits far out way the difficulties.

The traps have been designed to be as humane as possible but occasionally animals have been injured rather than killed outright. The rose quartz pieces being planted, have been programmed to veil a peaceful passing to any animal trapped, and a single crystal is being placed into the earth, within stone walling, or under adjacent rocks, within 1' (30cm) of each trap, where possible. 

So far I have begun planting them next to the traps in the vicinity of Old Nisthouse, Marwick Head and on Greeny Hill, Dounby, all on mainland Orkney. Obviously to crystal plant all the 700 traps planned is quite an undertaking, especially as they are sometimes moved about, so if anyone in Orkney feels drawn to contribute to this work in any way please get in touch via

There are many different ways to help. Crystal Earthworks can provide programmed rose quartz to plant in your part of Orkney, or can provide details of how to programme your own pieces of rose quartz for this purpose. Any support with mapping the plantings, or sponsoring purchase of the required crystals would also be gratefully received. 

Rose quartz pieces planted in connection
 with stoat trapping in Orkney

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