Ukraine fundraiser - 18 June 2024
Friday 14 June 2024
 9.9°C   ESE Strong Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Nature / Don’t climb over Sumburgh Head walls for puffin photos, RSPB says

Photo: Shetland News

A REMINDER has been made not to go over the wall at the Sumburgh Head lighthouse to take photos of puffins after a “number of incidents” in the last few days.

People going onto the cliff top could lead to burrows collapsing and erosion of habitat, the RSPB said.

Shetland manager Helen Moncrieff also issued a reminder that avian flu, which has had a devastating impact on seabirds this year, can be transported on people’s footwear.

A photographer with a professional camera was snapped sitting on the other side of the wall on Tuesday, leading to concerns over seabird – and human – safety.

There have been other similar incidents in the last few days.

The RSPB said the wall is there for the “safety of visitors and seabirds alike”.

“We are very disappointed to learn that people are going over the wall to take photographs of seabirds, especially as HPAI [avian flu] is so rife in Shetland,” Moncrieff said.

“At present, Sumburgh Head’s birds do not appear to be affected but the virus can get transported on footwear.

“Puffins have burrows all along the clifftop and people risk trampling burrows and crushing chicks or putting an adult bird off from feeding their chick.

“We sincerely hope that people put birds’ welfare before their desire to take photographs.”

The RSPB added that people can enjoy “fantastic, safe and close views of the puffins and other seabirds from behind the wall, without needlessly risking the birds’ safety”.

Last year the RSPB issued a similar reminder following reports of two people climbing the wall to take photos of puffins whilst having a picnic.

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.