top of page

Covers coming off for new season

Covers are coming off on site for this year's dig, which sounds nice & easy but in reality involves a huge amount of effort, because to get to the covers you have to shift the several thousand sandbags and a good few tonnes of stone, all by hand.

The sandbags are only used in the upper part of the site, where they're not going to be washed away by the tide, and they have made our lives a bit easier as they are not as hard to shift as loose stone. They do also make a handy seat if you're in need of a bit of a breather.

Bit damp today with a brisk breeze which helped to keep us cool as it's sweaty work opening up the site, that's the Orkney flag flying from one of our information boards in the background in case you're wondering.

Yesterday was our first day back and as usual we spent all day unloading trailers, getting organised, strimming, and the annual ceremonial reinstatement of the path through the bog to site. We did several years ago install our own drainage pipe to help with this but it had of course got clogged up, so Gavin had to find it and clean it out while the rest of us hauled sand up from the beach to cover the thickest of the mud.

By the end of the day today we had managed to uncover a fair chunk of the site, and so far it's survived the winter reasonably well. Still covered with sandbags in the foreground is one of our iron smelting furnaces, which is going to be carefully excavated by Rose Karpinski as part of her PhD research

Everyone was still in good spirits even if we are trying not to think about how much more there is to come out, especially all the bits covered with that Swandro speciality, deep rotten seaweed. Caz & Alice even managed a selfie showing off their colour co-ordinated outfits, it's what all the best dressed diggers are wearing this year:

Off for a well-earned rest now before doing it all again tomorrow, hopefully we'll have everything clear by the end of the week.


bottom of page