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Working Holidays

Help rebuild the unique Grade A listed dry stone wall to protect the infamous seaweed-eating sheep

Experience life on the beautiful and rugged island of North Ronaldsay, with plenty of free time for your own adventures. Learn the island's unique dry stone walling technique that has been passed down through generations. Enjoy eating North Ronaldsay mutton at the Bird Observatory with panoramic views of Sanday and other Orkney Islands...

About drystane dyking

Since 1832, the Sheep Dyke has confined the semi-feral communal flock of North Ronaldsay sheep to the shore, where they have survived solely on seaweed.  A 13 mile long structure, the sheep dyke encircles the island and is constantly battered by storms, with nothing to stop them sweeping across the Atlantic from Canada before hitting the island. The native rare breed of sheep are descended from the most primitive breed of ruminants, having lived on the island for millenia. Learn more about the history of this fascinating breed and the dyke that preserves them wth instruction from the Sheep Dyke Warden. Although drystane dyking can be strenuous and patience is required. No experience necessary as the traditional island-technique will be used on this Grade A Listed structure. By the end of of your volunteering you’ll never look at a pile of stanes on the beach in the same way again!

You'll have plenty of time to explore the rest of the island. Find all about whats on offer here. 

Getting around

I recommend hiring a bicycle for getting around the island.

The Trust is offering a special price for volunteers

- just £2 a day!

 

Accommodation

The island has accommodation to suit all groups and budgets 

from camping beside the sea to staying in the

original Lighthouse Keeper’s cottages.

More details here.

Note for volunteers

 

What to bring: 

Sturdy boots, warm and waterproof clothing are essential. 

Steel capped boots are recommended. 

Gloves, knee pads and goggles can be provided

 

We will be at the dyke for ~6 hours each day,

including tea/coffee and lunch breaks.

There are no toilet facilities on site.

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