The island of Stronsay measures about 7 miles by five at its widest point and is surprisingly flat and fertile. There are also five small islets included in the parish, one of which is inhabited for part of the year. Another of these is Papa Stronsay upon which is situated a monastery, home to about twenty Transalpine Redemptorist monks.
The population of the island is about 350. Although around half of the population have come from outwith Orkney, they are fairly representative of the island as a whole, with a good mixture ranging from couples with young families to elderly retired people. The main occupation is beef and sheep farming and there is also a small lobster and crab fishing industry. Stronsay is also on the forefront of wind/renewable developments.
Stronsay is a bird-watcher’s paradise, with many migrants and rarities to be spotted in addition to the more common birds, and there is also a wide and varied selection of flora and fauna. There is little light pollution so the stars are easily visible on a clear night. The ‘Merry Dancers’ regularly provide a fascinating spectacle in the northern sky and spectacular sunsets are commonplace. There is also sea fishing and free trout fishing in the loch, there are several easily accessible lovely sandy beaches and also many other places to walk, whether along a gently sloping shoreline to see the seals or a more spectacular walk along the clifftops.
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