Sunday 23rd February 2020,
Frontiers Magazine

Browsing the "Countryside" Category


The turning of autumn

A time of morning mists and still pools, of roaring winds and falling apples, swirling leaves of fiery hue, of dark nights full of stars and screeching owls. Times of dew-covered cobwebs glistening in the dawn light, mysteriously hanging through railing and gorse. A time when gravestones loom out of the hollows of graveyards, their [...]

November 1, 2019 Elizabeth Woodcock Countryside Comments Off

The Language of the Senses

Water, the elemental essence of life, of our bodies. A visceral trickle running down the flank of a hill. Yet walking in drought and the bare bones of the hills creak under foot, the brittle and brown grasses, the dusty streams holding no life-giving juice. Parched lips and hard land. Without water, we are and [...]

October 2, 2019 Elizabeth Woodcock Countryside Comments Off

Women and the Land

About 15 years ago I was living and working in Dubai. A desert with the world’s biggest buildings on it, and a high street which is an eight-lane motorway, where public ‘gardens’ are created and removed overnight, trees in huge pots and incredibly realistic astro-turf. It was here I had a dream, a big dream, [...]

September 17, 2019 Elizabeth Woodcock Countryside Comments Off

Island Wildcats?

I once saw a wildcat. I was approaching a bare heather clad summit, about 900 metres above sea level, when it started out of the heather a few metres ahead and flowed away up the path, over the summit, gone. I grew up in cities. I’d been walking in hills a while. I had no [...]

August 14, 2019 Steve Webster Countryside Comments Off
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Walking with Ravens and Wonder

Soaring. That is the word. On top of the world, or so it seems, above the busy valleys below, side by side with the ravens as they soar on the up-blasts of winter blizzard rushing skywards. I soar with them, for a moment. I can see their eyes as they hold a position just teetering [...]

October 9, 2018 Elizabeth Woodcock Countryside, Winter Issue 2018 Comments Off

Pilgrims on the Brough of Deerness

After a bad forecast came a grey Sunday, the first of October. White waves were on the loch and clouds passed swiftly. Tones of gold and crimson lay over the swamp, and the trees were changing; there were drifts of leaves in Finstown although gardens were still bright. A black duck swam in the bay. [...]

June 10, 2018 Bessie Skea Countryside Comments Off
The Green Lane at flood time

The January Man

My father, John Somerville, was sent to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth at the age of 13, and joined the Royal Navy when he was 17 years old,” writes Christopher Somerville in the introduction to his book The January Man. “He served in a destroyer in the Mediterranean through some of the worst and [...]

August 30, 2017 Christopher Somerville Countryside Comments Off

Little flower of the north

You’ll know it when you see it, with its delicate mauve petals and yellow centre, its short stalk rising from the little rosette of green leaves. It’s a little distance back from the sea-cliffs, tucked down in the transition zone between maritime heath and the grassy sward with sea pinks that lies behind. It occurs [...]

July 14, 2016 Howie Firth Countryside Comments Off

North Ronaldsay’s woolmill

North Ronaldsay sheep are an ancient breed, part of the family of Northern European short-tailed sheep. Other members include the Soay sheep and the Iceland sheep and other native breeds spread across the north from the Baltic to the North Atlantic. The sheep are small and hardy, with most of the males – and also [...]

August 20, 2015 Jane Donnelly Countryside Comments Off

Orkney trees – a labour of love

Planting trees is an Orcadian labour of love. The salt winds of autumn are particularly destructive, and in a poor year they can blacken foliage and tear off the leaves before the various nutrients have been absorbed into the rest of the plant. Shelter is thus important, and you can see from the shapes of [...]

March 21, 2015 Howie Firth Countryside Comments Off