News round-up / Nature festival programme, crofting law book, call to restore free TV licence

the Crofthouse Museum open day is part of the Shetland Nature Festival. Photo: Shetland Amenity Trust

THE ORGANISERS of the Shetland Nature Festival say this year’s event will be “bigger and better” than ever.

The festival, which is run by Shetland Amenity Trust, will take place between 6 and 14 July.

Events included in the programme range from coasteering and open days to guided walks, kayaking and bird watching.


Amenity Trust chairwoman Ruth Mackenzie said: “The team have put together an incredible programme of events that will attract people of all ages and interests. Shetland’s natural heritage, landscape, and wildlife truly is outstanding and there is so much discover and explore.

“It is great to see so many businesses, community groups and organisations coming together to put on such an array of events.”

Spaces on the events can be booked online, on the phone or in person at the amenity trust offices at Garthspool or Shetland Museum and Archives.

For more information see visit the Shetland Nature Festival webpage or call 01595 694688.


A NEW book for anyone with an interest in the protracted domains of crofting law has been launched in Glasgow this week.

Brian Inkster with his new book.

Written by crofting law expert and solicitor Brian Inkster, A Practical Guide to Crofting Law covers the main issues and aims to highlight the complexity of crofting law and the pitfalls and traps that await the uninitiated.

Welcoming the book’s publication, the chief executive of the Scottish Crofting Federation Patrick Krause said: “This is a book that has been awaited since crofting law was formed, a book that lays out what the, notoriously difficult to navigate, ‘sea of legislation’ is about.”


Shetland MSP Tavish Scott added: “This is an extremely helpful guide to crofting law which will help all who have to navigate the Byzantine routes through the law of the land.”

The book has been published by Law Brief Publishing and it can be ordered online via www.croftinglawbook.com

AGE SCOTLAND is calling on the UK Government to restore the free TV licence entitlement for all older recipients, saying it will cause hardship for thousands of pensioners who are already struggling financially.

More than 420,000 people across the country have already signed a petition organised by its sister charity Age UK.

Earlier this week the BBC announced that from June 2020 the free TV licence would only be available to older people aged 75 and older if they were in receipt of pension credit.

However, the take-up of pension credit remains low with four in ten Scottish pensioners who are entitled to it not receiving it.

Chief executive of Age Scotland Brian Sloan said: “This plan is deeply unfair and all the evidence shows that it fails to protect those who can least afford to pay.

“Older people in their 80s and 90s, who rely on their television for companionship, will now face horrible choices such as cutting back on essentials to pay their bill or risking breaking the law by not paying the licence fee.”