GHEA: Rousay, Orkney: Gateway to the Atlantic

Project Leader: Stephen Dockrill

Project Type: GHEA Project

GHEA Project Collaborators

Start: 14th June 2011
End: 30th December 2020


The core aim of this research initiative is to inform on sustainability and reliance strategies in the past, investigating how people (and society) reacted and adapted to climatic and environmental change over time. Due to the northerly position of Orkney, the islands have shorter growing seasons and a degree of marginality, which offers a remarkable opportunity to study the long-term effects of climate change and how people survived and adapted, from the first farmers over 5,000 years ago through to the clearances in the 19th century. As well as adaptation and sustainability, this long time frame provides the potential to study cultural changes as a result of contact and trade. A second aim of the project is to record and understand sites on the island of Rousay which are threatened by present day coastal change.