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Environment / Reminder made over staying safe at Sumburgh Head after couple climb wall to take photos of puffins

Photo: Shetland News

PEOPLE have been reminded to keep within the boundaries at Sumburgh Head after reports of two people climbing over the wall on Saturday evening to take photos of puffins whilst having a picnic.

RSPB Shetland said in a Facebook post on Sunday that unwanted pressure on the cliff top can lead to burrows collapsing and habitat being eroded.

The Sumburgh Head lighthouse and visitor centre, which reopened in 2014 after a £5.4 million refurbishment. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland NewsThe Sumburgh Head lighthouse and visitor centre. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

“It has been brought to our attention that a couple had climbed the wall at RSPB Sumburgh Head yesterday evening and were sat taking photos and picnicking on the cliff top extremely close to the puffins. Please do not do this,” its site manager Kevin Kelly said.

“The wall is there for the safety of visitors and our seabirds alike. Unwanted presence on the cliff top like this in an uncontrolled way, can easily lead to burrows collapsing and erosion of habitat.

“Everybody can enjoy fantastic safe, close views of the puffins from behind the wall, without needlessly risking the birds’ safety. This behaviour was witnessed on the Sumburgh puffin-cam, being streamed around the world. Help us to keep Sumburgh nature reserve a safe home for seabirds.”