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Community / Polycrub could join wallabies and emus at Burra outpost if fundraiser proves successful

Dave Kok. Photo: BBC Radio Shetland

AN AUSTRALIAN themed ‘outpost’ in Burra which is home to a menagerie of animals including wallabies and emus has launched a fundraising appeal for a community Polycrub.

Donations will also go towards improving disabled access, and some upgrades needed for the animals.

The Outpost – located near to the end of the road at Houss – is not only a place for families to pop by, but people with additional support needs are encouraged to visit.

It also caters for school groups and outings from care centres.

Owner Dave Kok, who is originally from Tasmania, said the having a large polytunnel on site would allow people with mobility issues to spend time at the Outpost.

He said that Covid has pushed him into pursuing his polytunnel idea due to the limitations on indoor activities for people receiving care.

Polycrubs allow Shetland to grow fresh produce locally and thus reduce food miles. Photo: Polycrub

“What I can’t do at this point in time, with the weather especially, is take wheelchairs, or folk who are wobbly on their feet or on sticks,” Kok said.

“The idea with it is to make that fully accessible to people with mobility issues, in and outside – there would planking set ups inside as well as outside, and it’d be like a big decking set-up.”

Kok said there could potentially be growing space available in the polytunnel for people in the community.

In addition to the animals at the Outpost, which people can feed at any time, there is a wooden portacabin turned bar lined with Australia memorabilia which opens occasionally.

Alongside the wallabies and emus are pigs, goats, an iguana, sugar glider possums, tortoises, chinchillas and a rabbit .

The fundraiser says the last couple of years have been hard for the Outpost, and the funds raised will “ensure the sustainability of this wonderful happy place we have here in Shetland”.

Kok said during the pandemic donations to the Outpost have dropped.

People can donate to the fundraiser here.

Watch a Shetland News video below of Kok back in 2018 after bringing a couple of wallabies to Burra.