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Nature / University project keen to hear your stories of Shetland wild plants

PEOPLE are being invited to share their stories of Shetland’s wild plants as part of a new university project.

The project seeks to understand how historical writings about Shetland wild plants are shaping modern understanding of rare plant ecology and how people experience rare plants today.

Postgraduate researcher in the Institute for Northern Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands Rebecca Cornwell is working with Professor Donna Heddle on the initiative, which is called Precious Persistence.

They are in working in partnership with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and other colleagues at UHI including the Centre for Mountain Studies funded by the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities.

Cornwell was in Shetland recently to launch the project and ask locals for their stories about their experiences of Shetland wild plants.

“These stories are going to shape the direction that the project takes, and I’m interested in experiences from the everyday to the extraordinary,” she said.

People can contribute online, although Shetland Library is also helping with distribution of information and printed project packs.

The project’s webpage says: “We are collecting information on Shetland wild plants from a variety of sources including books, archives, botanical databases, herbaria, and the words of stakeholders and community members to explore the changing relationships between people and nature.

“We are interested in how this informs conservation activities and affects how we feel about rare and vulnerable plant species especially in the face of climate change.”

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