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In brief for 28 January 2011

Bird watch

SHETLAND householders are being asked to join RSPB Scotland’s Big Garden Bird Watch this weekend to find out the impact of the cold winter on local bird populations.

Last year 270 people in Shetland took part in the world’s biggest bird survey, when starlings were the most common garden visitor after being spotted in 97 per cent of gardens.

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This was followed by the house sparrow, blackbird, feral pigeon, common gull, collared dove, hooded crow, robin and herring gull.

RSPB Scotland’s head of species and habitats Dr Paul Walton said: “Our birds had a difficult start to 2010, coping with the longest prolonged cold snap for 30 years.

“That’s why we’ve been asking people to help the small birds in their gardens by putting out regular food and water. It brings beautiful wildlife close to peoples’ homes and it really helps small birds to survive.”

Town plans

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PLANS to create a Lerwick business improvement district (BID) which could win a £20,000 grant from the Scottish government are going well, according to organisers.

This week the BID project team notified the government and Shetland Islands Council that they intended to put up their plans for improving the town centre for a ballot amongst local businesses during this year

The move follows the largest ever survey of the working population in Lerwick about how they would like the town centre to change.

Businesses are being invited to the Lerwick Town Centre Association office in Mounthooly Street to return their forms and to take part in a one to one interview.

A Lerwick BID brand and website should be launched next month while work is done to work up a proposal and business plan.

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