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Also in the news / Bressay tree planting, Unst Show returns, garden digs and more…

MORE THAN 50 people attended the inaugural planting weekend of the Bressay Community Woodland scheme.

It marks the start of an ambitious project at a new four hectare site on the east side of the island adjacent to the Brough Loch, coordinated by Bressay Development Ltd (BDL).

Over the next three years 3,000 trees comprising species native to Shetland, including rowan, downy birch and common alder, will be planted and the impact of rewilding and excluding sheep grazing monitored through annual quadrat vegetation surveys.

Planting of almost 800 trees with associated guards took place at the weekend, and there will be another opportunity to get involved on 26/27 March between 10am and 3pm.

Funded by the Suez Communities Trust and the Woodland Trust, with the trees provided by Shetland Amenity Trust woodland team, the project has involved discussion with existing land users/stakeholders and the installation of fencing, rabbit wiring and a boardwalk which will ensure access for all.

All are welcome to attend and expressions of interest in getting involved can also be registered through info@bressay.org


THE UNST Show is the latest community event to confirm its intention to return this summer.

The show set to return on Saturday 27 August.

However, the Walls Show committee says it needs to fill a shared secretary post before it can go ahead with its event.


Linda Somerville from the UHI Archaeology Institute during the excavation of a metre-square test pit in Lerwick in August 2021. Photo: ORCA

ARCHAEOLOGISTS investigating Lerwick’s trading past would like to hear from town centre householders interested in hosting a small excavation in their garden.

From 29 April 29 until 2 May a team from the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute will be in Shetland as part of Looking in from the Edge (LIFTE) – an international project examining the Northern Isles’ place in European trade networks of the 15th to 18th centuries.

The plan is to excavate a series of test pits around Lerwick’s historic centre to explore the town’s early settlement and look for evidence of trade links.

Archaeologists need dig sites so are appealing to anyone with a garden, border or vegetable patch they wouldn’t mind being excavated to get in touch.

Each test pit will be one-metre-square and, after excavation, the area will be carefully returned to the state it was found. Although the archaeologists will carry out the work, individual households are more than welcome to get involved in the dig.

Anyone who can offer space in their garden should email enquiries.orca@uhi.ac.uk


A PROPOSED power grid supply point at Gremista in Lerwick which is vital to Shetland’s forthcoming new electricity set-up has been approved by the council’s planning committee.

The infrastructure will connect the local power set-up to the new transmission network in the isles when Shetland is linked to the national grid.

Shetland will connect to the grid via a 600MW interconnector cable once the Viking Energy wind farm goes live in 2024.

The plans got the go-ahead from the planning committee on Monday.


SCOTLAND’s salmon farmers have launched new measures to help keep beaches clean of marine litter in coastal communities.

As part of a commitment to the wider marine environment, trade body Salmon Scotland is encouraging people to report waste, regardless of the source, so that salmon farmers close to the location can help remove it.

A dedicated inbox – reportdebris@salmonscotland.co.uk  – has been created, and reports should ideally contain a ‘what3words’ exact location and photo.

The information will be collated centrally and reported to local teams for recovery.

A spokesperson for Salmon Scotland said: “Even though in most cases marine debris does not come from salmon farms, but rather from towns and cities, other countries, and sometimes other continents, brought here by prevailing winds and tides”.

The new measures cover the entire area where farms are based – the north-west Highlands, the Western Isles, Argyll and Bute, Shetland and Orkney.