Happy Valley Drop Earrings

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Orkney has its famous historical sites and beauty spots, but it also has magical places that are loved by Orcadians, yet unknown to the wider world. Happy Valley is one of those.

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Dimensions: 9mm x 34mm

Half a mile from Ola’s old house at Brodgar lies the Bigswell Road, a dead-end that peters out on the heathery slopes of South Rusky Hill. Not much to see here? Look closer. Down by the edge of the Burn o Russadale is Orkney’s smallest nature reserve, home to an amazing array of wildflowers, mosses, ferns, birds, butterflies and moths – and 700 trees.

Amazingly, this was all created by one man, Edwin Harrold, who moved into the small cottage of Bankburn in 1948, when it sat on a bare patch of heathland. He started digging and planting, and he never stopped. He created paths through the trees as they grew, shaped the course of the burn as it flowed, watched as wildlife settled in this peaceful habitat.

Edwin lived there, alone, until shortly before his death in 2005. Except he was rarely alone. For neighbours from across the road, and from all across Orkney, started to come to wonder at what he had created. Someone gave it the name Happy Valley, and never has a better name been bestowed on a place. Edwin welcomed everyone with a shy smile and a friendly greeting.

Happy Valley jewellery