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About Us

We are a Registered Scottish Charity (No: SC047002) formed in November 2016 to respond to the destruction of Orkney’s archaeological sites by the sea. We are deeply honoured that in March 2019 His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay very kindly accepted our invitation to become our Patron. 

Orkney is a group of around 70 islands, of which 21 are inhabited, with a land mass of 975 square km but over 980km of coastline. Many of Orkney's archaeological sites are situated on the edge of the sea and are subject to ongoing coastal erosion. Global warming, the effects of climate change and melting polar ice are promoting higher sea levels and changing weather systems with increased storminess, which is exacerbating an existing problem.

Our current main planned excavation project is the rescue excavation of the archaeological site at the Knowe of Swandro, Rousay, Orkney, a 5,000-year-old Neolithic chambered tomb and a large settlement occupied from around 1000BC to AD1200. We do however also aim to respond to emergency situations which arise due to coastal erosion, for example in recent years we have funded work at Cata Sand in Sanday, where a Bronze Age/Neolithic settlement was revealed by the erosion of a dune system.


The Trust does not have any paid employees and is run by a board of unpaid charity Trustees, none of whom claim any expenses; all of our income is spent on our charitable aims.

Our Charitable Aims

Our charitable aims are to advance education, heritage and culture for people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of capability from anywhere in the world through the pursuit of archaeological activities, in the widest possible ways, at Swandro and its environs by:  

  • encouraging and providing opportunities to learn about the heritage and archaeology of Swandro and its environs; 

  • encouraging and providing opportunities to become involved in archaeological activities at Swandro and its environs;  

  • offering a range of activities, including without limitation: public lectures; exhibitions; tours; visits; summer schools and work experience opportunities and public participation, in a volunteer capacity, in the widest possible range of archaeological techniques and tasks, all in pursuit of the widest possible understanding of, interest in and development of the archaeological work at Swandro and its environs;                                    

  • facilitating the publication of the results of and the maintenance of the records of archaeological activities carried out in relation to Swandro and its environs;    

  • facilitating the promotion of the preservation of and public display of the collections of archaeological artefacts and ecofacts, obtained from Swandro and its environs;               

  • working with other organisations and individuals, including schools and universities to further the aims of the organisation; and                  

  • serving Swandro and its environs by an active involvement in its future excavation and presentation.

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