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Also in the news / Noss access, accessible library, zero waste accreditation, vaccine clinics and more…

Seabirds at the cliffs off the back of Noss this summer. Photo: Shetland News/Hans J. Marter

THE AGENCY looking after Scotland’s natural environment is urging anyone wanting to visit the Noss nature reserve to pre-arrange the trip before heading off.

It comes following reports that the cruise ship Hanseatic Inspiration landed several inflatable boats on Noss on Sunday afternoon without prior permission.

A national nature reserve since 1955, access to the island is somewhat restricted and controlled via a small ferry operated by NatureScot.

A spokesperson for the agency said: “We had some visitors to our Noss National Nature Reserve via RIB on Sunday.

“We ask that any future group visits are pre-arranged, so that the reserve wardens can offer welcome talks and maximise visitor enjoyment of the island while avoiding disturbance to wildlife.”

SHETLAND Library staff are gearing up to celebrate this year’s Hi VIS Fortnight, focusing on the importance of accessible libraries and reading.

The availability of alternative formats through libraries is important for people with vision problems, said support services librarian Catherine Jeromson.

“The library service helps ensure that people who have sight loss, or indeed any difficulty using standard print, can access and enjoy a diverse range of reading,” she said. “We have alternative formats, and our staff can help.”

The library also produces the Talking Newspaper service, making audio recordings of The Shetland Times. The paper is read and recorded by volunteers every Friday and posted out to visually impaired users.

An afternoon tea was held this week at the library to thank the volunteers for their contribution. It was the first opportunity for everyone to meet together as a team since the beginning of the pandemic.

SHETLAND Home Co has achieved Zero Waste Scotland’s Revolve accreditation for the third time in a row.

The Lerwick second-hand store is also part of COPE Ltd, a social enterprise and registered charity, which provides skills development and supported employment opportunities for adults with learning disabilities or autism.

Shetland Home Co first achieved Revolve accreditation in early 2017 and it works to maintain this important accreditation. It is one of 116 Revolve certified stores across the country.

Over the past year Shetland Home Co has processed around 41,000 items, which adds up to 63.5 tonnes of goods, extending their lifespan and saving them from landfill.

NHS Shetland is continuing to offer the Covid spring booster to those who are 75 or over and anyone else who is eligible.

Children aged between five and 11 are also being offered the vaccine, along with anyone who still needs to complete their primary or booster vaccination courses.

The vaccination centre at the Gilbertson Park in Lerwick will be open on the following dates in June:

  • Tuesday 7 June
  • Thursday 9 June
  • Tuesday 14 June
  • Thursday 16 June

Anyone who is due for a Covid vaccination can arrange a booked appointment on those days. Walk in appointments are also still available between 11am-2.50pm and 5.40pm-6.20pm only.

For more details contact 01595 743319 or email shet.vaccination-team@nhs.scot

THE BLUEMULL Sound ferry service will run to a Saturday timetable on Friday due to the public holiday for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

All other ferry services will run as usual.

However any previous bookings in the system for Yell Sound and Whalsay will need to be rebooked.

Passengers wishing to travel on Friday will need to contact the booking office on 01595 745804 to confirm their booking or by email at ferrybooking@shetland.gov.uk

The dial-a-ride bus booking line will be unavailable on Friday.

ONLY one place in Shetland has been named a Scotland Beach Award winner this year – West Sandwick in Yell.

The awards are given out by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The scheme is the only national benchmark for local environmental quality celebrating clean, well-managed and sustainable beaches.