Nature / Bird hide aims to give wildlife enthusiasts better experience at Spiggie Loch

The existing store at the Loch of Spiggie. Photo © Google 2021

A PURPOSE-built bird hide could be coming to the Loch of Spiggie to allow people to view the local wildlife in sheltered surroundings.

The RSPB is keen to replace its existing boat store at the edge of the loch, which is a designated nature reserve and an important area for wildfowl.

It is one of Shetland’s most important lochs for whooper swans, while the area also plays host to species like lapwing, tufted duck and redshanks.

In a statement to the council’s planning department, the charity said: “This fully accessible hide on the reserve will offer visitors shelter from the elements and an opportunity for existing and new audiences to engage with the reserve and the RSPB’s conservation work, enjoying close views of wintering wildfowl, deepening their connection with nature.”

The existing boat shed has been in place since the early 1980s, but it is now in “significant disrepair” and needing replaced.


The hide will also act as a store.

The RPSB also proposes to resurface the parking area at the building.

In a move to try to create habitat for wildlife, the charity also plans to install two floating ‘tern rafts’, measuring three metres by three metres in size, on the loch.

The RSPB said climate change and overfishing has led to significant declines in tern populations over the last six decades.

As summer visitors, terns are only in Scotland for the breeding season, and they need a safe place to go about their business.

The RPSB is leading a partnership called Terning the Tide, which aims to work with local communities, land owners and school groups to protect, create and enhance tern breeding sites in Scotland.

Tern ‘rafts’ should provide suitable breeding sites located away from potential sources of disturbance and predators, and one of the key locations mooted in the project is the Loch of Spiggie.

The main frame of the raft would be constructed from galvanised steel, with floats fixed underneath, and it would be filled with gravel.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.