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Also in the news / Nature writing, land and property survey, Loganair finances, ferry debate disappointment and more…

Richard Shucksmith.

NATURE writing will be celebrated at an event at Lerwick Town Hall later this month for Book Week Scotland.

Three of Shetland’s top nature writers – Richard Shucksmith, Sally Huband and Jon Dunn – will each give a talk and presentation about their writing and inspiration.

All three authors will also be present for an informal family-friendly drop-in event at the new library from 6pm-7pm, with no need to book ahead.

Tickets for the Town Hall event, which runs from 7pm-9pm on Thursday 18 November, can be booked through Eventbrite.

FOUR new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Shetland, according to Tuesday’s Scottish Government update.

Across Scotland a further 2,010 cases have been reported.

A SURVEY is underway to find out what demand there is for commercial land and property in Shetland.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is carrying out the survey in partnership with Shetland Islands Council, Hjaltland Housing Association and Shetland Arts.

The findings will be shared with all partners to help better plan for future potential demand for land, industrial workshop, laboratory or office space across the island.

HIE’s interim Shetland area manager Katrina Wiseman said: “This survey is about understanding the property and land needs of businesses in Shetland, which is fundamental to informing the work that we and our partners do in meeting their requirements and indeed the needs of industry and communities.”

The survey can be found here.

LOGANAIR recorded a pre-tax loss of £5.6 million for year up to 31 March, new figures show.

This, however, is reduced compared to the £12.7 million loss before tax in 2019/20.

Turnover more than halved from £169 million to £81 million as the pandemic hit the aviation industry.

Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said: “Without doubt, the last year has been the most challenging in Loganair’s 59-year history.

“The fact that we’ve been able to weather the storm is entirely thanks to the dedication and commitment of our people. We are incredibly grateful to all of them – and their contribution means that we believe Loganair is in the strongest position of any UK regional airline as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Highlands and Islands Conservative Jamie Halcro Johnston.

HIGHLANDS and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston says he was left “disappointed” by the Scottish transport minister’s response to last week’s ferries debate at Holyrood.

The Scottish Conservative MSP said Graeme Dey failed to grasp the seriousness of the situation and the widespread, cross-party anger of MSPs who spoke in the debate.

Locally there has been concern over freight capacity on the NorthLink ferries to and from the Northern Isles.

Halcro Johnston said: “My member’s debate on ferries attracted contributions from MSPs from across all the political parties in the Scottish Parliament, and most recognised that this is a growing crisis and one which needs real, immediate action.

“We heard many examples of how islands – and other communities served by ferries – are being let down time and time again by the lack of a reliable service and any real resilience in the system.”