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Community / Vehicle access restricted to Fethaland

Fethaland is one of Shetland's many beauty spots. Photo: Shetland NewsThe Fethaland beauty spot. Photo: Shetland News

A £20 fee is being imposed for those wishing to drive into the picturesque Fethaland peninsula due to the “unprecedented” number of vehicles using the private access road this year and leaving gates open.

Owner David Murray said the money would towards the upkeep of the road.

The gate is now going to be locked, with a £20 charge for obtaining access.

Murray said he wanted to make absolutely clear that it was not his intention to discourage people from visiting the popular beauty spot.

But he said vehicle access needed to be managed as they started to interfere with the demands of a working croft.

With more people venturing out exploring their home islands as a result of lockdown, Murray said that during one weekend earlier this month the sheer number of visitors made it almost impossible to get on with caaing the sheep.

“Due to the unprecedented number of vehicles going to Fethaland on our private road this year with gates being left open we have been forced to make the decision to key the gate,” he said on Facebook.

“Anyone wishing to obtain access will be able to do so by contacting me. There will be a charge of £20 for obtaining a key which will go towards the upkeep of the access road.

“It is unfortunate it has come to this but it is the few ruining it for the many as usual.”

Murray said he did not want to exclude anyone who is unable to walk, but he said he believes it is the “fairest way” of doing it.

He said the number of people visiting Fethaland over the last year has been growing steadily, and added that as a direct result of the area’s popularity the breeding success of ground nesting birds had suffered a steady decline.

Although now uninhabited, Fethaland has a long history of human settlement, spanning from prehistoric times right up until the 20th century when the fishing station – established during the 15th and 16th centuries – became redundant.

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