Community / Upturned boat shelters offer new seating at Sletts path

NHS Shetland board chairman Gary Robinson with health improvement practitioner Kathleen Anderson.

FOUR brightly-coloured upturned boat shelters have been installed along the Sletts path in Lerwick for NHS patients, staff and the public to use.

The project has been in the works for some time, but it was put on hold during the Covid pandemic.

A few years ago NHS Shetland’s health improvement team, in conjunction with the sustainability and environmental manager, secured government funding to create a link path between Lerwick Health Centre and the new Sletts path.

Linked to the Greenspace funding initiative, a competition was run in 2018 to select a design for new shelters for use by visitors, staff and patients.

Three shortlisted solutions were put on public display in Lerwick and the general public was invited to select their favourite design. The winning design was a traditional boat-shaped structure.

The shelters are based on the ‘Shetland Maid’, a class of sailing dingy that has evolved into the light and fast craft used in boat races today.


The glass fibre structures were manufactured using a mould that belongs to Robert Anderson of Tresta.

Shetland Composites used the mould to form the shelter shape, but then modified the cast to create a strong base to withstand the elements.

Seats have also been installed in three of the shelters, with the fourth shelter left seat free to accommodate a wheelchair.

Glasgow firm Threesixty Architecture put together the design.

NHS Shetland’s health improvement team leader Nicola Balfour said: “We are delighted that the new shelters have been installed, the designs were chosen by staff and patients and it’s great to see the final ‘Shetland Maid’ designs come to life.

“They will provide a scenic resting stop for anyone to use and enjoy.”

Board chair Gary Robinson said he hoped the new shelters will be a “welcome and appropriate addition to this popular area and will give people a chance to have a rest or socialise when walking along the path”.

“The shelters could also act as a catalyst for further similar initiatives along the Sletts path and beyond,” he added.

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