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News round-up / Foula carbon pledge, colour run, gin awards, yacht passes finish line

From left to right: Robert Mitchell from Fair Isle, Fiona Stirling and Melanie Macrae from HIE, and Magnus Holbourn from Foula. Photo: Pat Christie

RESIDENTS of Foula have signed up to the Carbon Energy Transition Pledge, which commits the island to producing a decarbonisation plan over the next year.

Foula Electricity Trust (FET) joined Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage, Shetland Islands Council (SIC) and Foula residents in signing the pledge.

The island, which has a population of 35, has been providing its own electricity since the creation of FET in 1982.

At the moment the island is powered by a hybrid scheme incorporating wind, hydro and solar, with two diesel generators providing back up.

Foula is one of six islands in the Highlands and Islands that were successfully selected as ‘pioneering islands’ in the Clean Energy for EU Islands programme announced in February.

The other islands are Fair Isle, the Isle of Canna, Eigg, Rum and Muck.

FET director Magnus Holbourn said: “The folk that live here are very conscious of the negative things happening to the climate as a result of fossil fuel emissions and so we were delighted to be have this opportunity to be a pioneering island.

“We really hope that what we do here on Foula can inspire other people to get behind a transition to low carbon living.”

Neil Grant, director of development at the SIC, said: “I am delighted that two of our island communities are committing to this initiative; it is a great opportunity to develop and exchange knowledge.”

AROUND 60 people took part in a fundraising colour run and walk in Cunningsburgh at the weekend.

Plenty of fun was had at the colour run. Photo: Margaret Clark

The Colour Challenge was organised by Shetland Church of Scotland and it was supported by other churches and faiths.

Participants travelled a circular route through Cunningsburgh with both 5km and 10km options.

“Although a beautiful day, the wind made it more of a challenge for runners and those throwing the coloured powder,” organiser Wilma Goodlad said.

“A very happy event, open to everyone, with all ages taking part. Donations will be divided between Cunningsburgh Youth Club and Compassion with the current total over £820. Thanks to all who supported this extremely happy event in any way.”

THE COMPANY behind Shetland Reel has been shortlisted numerous times in the Scottish Gin Awards.

Shetland Distillery Company is up for the growth business of the year prize.

The Filska Shetland Reel drink is nominated for the London dry gin of the year award, while the Rhubarb and Bramble Gin Liqueur is in the gin liquor of the year section.

The 2019 Up Helly Aa special gin is also nominated in the cask category.

This year’s Scottish Gin Awards will held in Glasgow on 10 October.

THE ASSIS was the first yacht to pass the finishing line in Lerwick in the annual Bergen-Shetland Race.

The Norwegian boat arrived in town on Thursday after a sailing across the North Sea which lasted nearby 30 hours.

The yacht is skippered by Ole Birger Giæver from Trondheim.

His crew members are John Sanderød, Kristian Torkildsen, Tallak Jensen Torkildsen, Svein Erik Lyse, Yngve Jensen, Erik Hveding, Einer Herrem, Kristoffer Kleppestø, Markus Swarowsky and Simen Sandseter.