Explore and enjoy the unique

From the ancient seaweed eating sheep that graze around the foreshore managed by the ancient sheep court, to the lighthouses that stand proud at the north guiding the shipping with the tallest land based lighthouse in the UK.

North Ronaldsay has a unique and world-recognised heritage for visitors to explore .

The stunningly beautiful sandy shores to the south and east, dramatic rugged coastline to the north and west, and the peaceful centre area are all wonderful to explore taking in the beautiful scenery, and wildlife. 

North Ronaldsay is where old traditions and customs are still  a rich part of island life but this innovative island also embraces the 21st century.


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Island Conference 2019

The North Ronaldsay Trust held an Island Conference to coincide with the opening of the newly renovated school house and the start of the advertising of the new available position of a 'Sheep Dyke Warden'.

The conference was held in the community hall to a packed audience of both residents and invited guests from various organisations, outside bodies and organisations who have supported the Island or  have the ability to support the island.

The hall was decorated with photographs from the archives, products from the local wool mill, crafts from Helen Galland, alias Woolly Wally, both felted and woven products using North Ronaldsay felt and yarn.  North Ronaldsay Chocolates displayed their products as well as a large sample of products for tasting.  There were other displays covering Dark Skies, including the islands astronomical telescope and displays from the North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory including a display of the ornithological nets that are produced on the island and used to catch and ring birds.

The conference started with an safety briefs by Alex Wright, a new director to the Trust.  This followed with Lilly Gray, Teigan Scott, Chloe Wood and Zander Scott reading a poem  'A song of North Ronaldsay' by Willy Swanney, 'Viggie'.    This was followed by a welcome by Caroline Tindall, North Ronaldsay Laird, and an overview of the conference by John Scott, Chairperson of the  Trust.  The first section of the conference was about protecting and promoting  what makes our island unique.  This started with an overview by Trust director Mark Holbrook and followed with presentations from Trust Director Alison Duncan on our current Dark Skies status, Lee Inkster and Cheryl Chapman from Visit Scotland and Elaine Tulloch from Destination Orkney on promoting North Ronaldsay, Wendy Barrie, Director of Scottish Food Guide, Food Writer and Chef on North Ronaldsay Mutton & the Slow Food Presidium, Edgar Balfour, Orkney Food and Drink on promoting North Ronaldsay products, Councillor Kevin Woodbridge North Ronaldsay Sheep Court, and Robert Brewis, Orkney Sheep Foundation. Edgar Balfour, Orkney Food and Drink on promoting North Ronaldsay products, Councillor Kevin Woodbridge  as secretary of the North Ronaldsay Sheep Court, and Robert Brewis from the Orkney Sheep Foundation talked about the North Ronaldsay Sheep and the Island Sheep Festival.  

The  second part of the conference was focused on Housing and Jobs.  The overview was given by Trust Director Michael Scott followed by presentations by Mairi Ross Grey from the Scottish Government on the Rural and Island Housing Fund, Gavin Barr  and Luke Fraser of Orkney Islands Council, and Francesca Couperwhite,  Highlands and Islands.

Enterprise on North Ronaldsay Housing and Jobs.  Trust Director Peter Donnelly talked about the history of the wool Mill and it being a crucial part to creating a commercial hub on  the island.   Andrew Golightly from the North Islands Landscape Partnership Scheme announced the opening of the 'Sheep Dyke Warden' post together with a short presentation film that had been created by Orkney.com.  Cameron Anson from Our Island Home/Rural Housing Scotland  talked about Our Island Home & Rural Together in particular the impact of modular housing.

 The  Conference was concluded by Trust Chairman John Scott by  calling on past Chairperson, Billy Muir MBE, Peter Donnelly, Mark Holbrook, and previous director Sinclair Scott of the North Ronaldsay Trust to step up for a presentation of a bottle of Scapa whisky for all their hard work as directors of the Trust.  

The audience was then invited to step outside to witness the cutting of the ribbon to the newly renovated property formerly the School House. 

Following  the ribbon cutting, it was possible to view the renovated property as well as enjoy a beautiful buffet and refreshments, supplied by the North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory and the Lighthouse Cafe.  An abundance of North Ronaldsay Mutton sandwiches, sausages, pies, and stewed mutton was available.

Special thanks to Loganair for arranging all the additional transport so efficiently, Ian Scott, Antabreck for the Archive display and general hall decoration and Dave Stewart and Bob Christie of db Projects for their assistance and support throughout this project.

School House Renovation

The North Ronaldsay Trust secured the old school house which was used in the past by head teachers for the local primary school.  The school house had been empty for approximately 5 years, although the school ran out of pupils only two years ago.  The change of use does not affect the ability to re-open the primary school in the future.

The Trust contacted Orkney Islands Council regarding obtaining the leasehold on the School House.  This was at the same time that the Scottish Government was offering financial support for renovating properties in rural areas.  There was also support from the Prince's Countryside Fund as well as some funding from the Trust.

The Trust used the services of Billy Groundwater of Orkney Surveying Services to create the renovation specification, tender document, and completion support.  The tender process was secured by Firefly Energi Orkney.  Norman Walsh, the owner of Firefly Energi, oversaw the overall design changes.  The outcome of the design change are shown with the picture within this article and show the stunning design and views the house offers.

Following the Island Conference on Monday 17th June the house was officially opened at the Island Conference with words from Norman Walsh, Owner of Firefly Energi Orkney, with the ribbon cutting by Liam Macarthur MSP.

The house sits on one of the highest points on North Ronaldsay with stunning views across the neighbouring Northern Isles of Orkney, Sanday, Eday, Westray, and Papa Westray, as well as Fair Isle to the north.

The island is basically free of pollution from vehicles, noise and light. It has beautiful sandy beaches to the east and south, with a rugged coastline on the north and west.  There is so much more within this website as well as online.


The insulation of the three bed roomed property is more than double the current building standard recommendations, all external doors and windows are triple glazed.  The house is fitted with air to water heating system which converts 1Kw of power to 4KW of heat.  Shortly the house will also be installed with a 10MB free digital connection

Interested in moving to North Ronaldsay, send you enquiries to

Click here

Many thanks to the support from Scottish Government - Rural Housing Fund, Orkney Islands Council, Princes Countryside Fund, db Projects, and Liam Macarthur MSP for ribbon cutting duties.

Job Opportunity on North Ronaldsay Sheep Dyke Warden Vacancy

The North Ronaldsay Trust has secured intital funding for three years to employ a 'Sheep Dyke Warden' to be responsible for carrying out a  program of rebuilding and repairs on the grade A listed Sheep Dyke. 

The position will also involve co-ordinating tourism to repair the dyke.

Living on a stress free pollution free island within a great community environment.

35 hours a week     Salary £21,840

Application now Closed



North Ronaldsay is the northern most of the Orkney Islands.  It is an island with a rich natural and built heritage, an important part of the later is the unique thirteen mile sheep dyke which surrounds the island ensuring the native sheep remain on the foreshore.

Storms and tides have destroyed much of the dyke and there is an urgent need to carry out rebuilding and repairs.  The dyke is integral to the management of the native sheep and the role shall require close liaison with the sheep owners and the 'sheep court' aligned to seasonal requirements with the communally managed flock.

Seaweed-Eating Sheep

It's easy to see the islands ancient breed of famous seaweed-eating sheep, as now nearly all have returned to the foreshore following the ewes lambing and the sheep being clipped of their fleeces.

Their fleeces will be dried and then traded through the local Wool Mill where the fleeces will be spun into yarn which is sold to many destinations around the world.


Our expertise

Orkney Best place to live in UK

A recent survey reveals that Orkney in the best place to live in the UK.  Please see the link below that will take you to the article:


North Ronadsay will soon be looking to recruit a Dyke Worker and Ranger.  Currently a three bedroom house is being refurbished in the centre of the island near to the school.  Keep watching for further details to be announced

Annual Sheep Festival

Monday July 29th to Friday August 9th 2019 

Planning is well under way for 2019 to deliver another fun packed programme of events to compliment the days work of repairing the Grade A listed Stone Dyke that runs around the island ensuring the famous s remain on the foreshore. 

Want to volunteer ? More info Volunteer Sign Up 2019

 A whirlwind fortnight of activities centered around the rebuilding of the islands Sheep Dyke has come to an end.  43 volunteers from Orkney, Scotland, England, Canada, and Hong Kong came to the Island and built 250 paces of dyke, equating to the movement of 250 tonnes of stone.  When away from the wall there was a pleather of activities from evening talks on North Ronaldsay Sheep management, tannery, music and film evenings. there were organised tours of the island Wool Mill and Lighthouse, dances, bake off competitions, BBQ, plays, quiz, and an international football match, residents against visitors, which was won by the visitors.


More information contact: https://www.nrsheepfestival.co...

New Hire Bikes available

Through successful funding applications from Cycle Scotland The North Ronaldsay Trust secured funding for 8 new Orbea bikes as well as funding to train two people, Alex Wright, and Louis Craigie, in bike maintainence.

The bikes and training were supplied from Orkney Cycle during February and March, The final training being delivered on the island assembling and setting up the new hire bikes.

To book a bike to rent or to arrange maintenance  please email bikehire@northronaldsay.co.uk or text 07809770082.

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