Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another dead Fox found..

Another dead fox has been found by the road in Shetland, this time at Gulberwick. It appeared fairly freshly dead and was apparently shot. It also had a few sequins on its fur - presumably from the bag that was used to transport it here.

There have been a few records of dead foxes being found by the roadside in Shetland - including a white Arctic Fox.

The origins of this one - like all the others 'found dead by the road'- are unkown - for now.
See also this discussion thread on the fox in Shetlnk.

Picture from SIC Environmental Health Dept.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lunnasting Primary School

Lunnasting Primary School is a two­ teacher school in the north of Shetland. It serves the areas of Skelberry, Sweening, Lunna, Lunning and Vidlin. It is very much an ECO-School. A school has been on the site since 1830 with the current school built over the old one in 1995. A section of the old school stone work was retained during the rebuild and is incorporated into the new school. The school has its own aerogenerator to provide power - ShetlandWindPower. 
Picture above - painting on shed in playground by Lunnasting schoolchildren (black area is chalkboard).


 Stained glass window in one of the classrooms.

The playground is decorated by sculptures and artwork all created by the schoolchildren.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Delting and Nesting & Girlsta Up Helly Aa Jarl Squad Shields

The Lunnasting School has a collection of Delting Up Helly Aa and Nesting & Girlsta Up Helly Aa Jarl Squad Shields which have been presented to them over the years during the Jarl squads visit. The school very kindly allowed me in to photograph them. There are no years on some of the shields - if anyone knows the years of those please let me know.

2009 Nesting & Girlsta Jarl Squad.

1999 Nesting & Girlsta Jarl Squad.

2005 Delting Jarl Squad.

1996 Nesting and Girlsta Jarl Squad.

2010 Delting Jarl Squad.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Panoramic Up Helly Aa Images

Have a look at this website for some amazing 'Google Streetview' style panoramic images of the 2010 Lerwick Up Helly Aa.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Collafirth Hill

The interpretive board at the top of Collafirth Hill looking towards Ronas Hill, the highest hill in Shetland.

The red granite boulders at the top of the hill and onto Ronas Hill.

Looking towards Ronas Hill with some snow from 2 weeks ago still visible near the top.

Its easy to drive to the top of Collafirth Hill - the road servicing the two communications masts is in good condition. The masts provides Television coverage for much of the north Mainland, as well as mobile phone communication. The site was also a small army base until the mid 1980's (which must have been fun!).

Walls Boundary Fault - Ollaberry

The Walls Boundary Fault is part of the Great Glen fault system. The fault is so called because it forms the boundary of the Walls peninsula on the west side of Shetland. Rocks on opposite sides of the fault - Granite on the east side and the much softer schist on the west side have moved relative to each other for more than 100km. The fault line as it enters the sea at Ollaberry is the best exposure of this feature anywhere in Britain as the schist has been eroded by the sea but the harder granite has remained. See the interpretive board to the left of the fault for more information.  

The fault line is visible on the top of the hill as a small ditch. Follow the ditch to its northern end to find the beach where the fault is exposed.

The view looking from the top down to the beach. Its not difficult to walk down unaided but it is steep in a few places and care is needed as there are lots of loose rocks, and at this time of the year its also very wet.

There's a sandy beach at the bottom (Back Sand), and the fault line is impressive looking from the beach. The granite headland is named Saberstone.

The 'Back Sand' beach extends round to the north of the bay. Further along tthe beach there were fresh otter tracks along with an obvious otter feeding area consisting of several fish skeletons under a large pile of boulders.

To get there, head to Ollaberry in the north Mainland. Turn right at the Ollaberry Post Office and park in the area above the Ollaberry slipway. Go through the gate to the left of the Kirk and head north. Climb over the stile at the north end of the Kirk, keep heading north until you come to the next stile and then head north-west until you find the ditch that is the fault. Follow that to the north to find the access to the beach. The route to the fault is in red - the blue dashed line is the fault line.

The climb down to the beach was fine for my 9 and 11 year olds & its an excellent beach. Its probably best to go at low tide so more of the beach is exposed. Here's a view of Ollaberry from the hill above the kirk.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Camping Huts, Banded Agate & Johnnie Notion

Went to Stenness Beach (near Eshaness Lighthouse) to try & find some banded agate (http://tinyurl.com/yloe663). Stopped off at the Braewick Caravan & Camping establishment to photograph the coloured camping huts...

Finally found a piece of banded agate on the beach at Stenness.

On the way back had a look at Johnnie Notions' Camping Böd. This turning is just before the Braewick Cafe & Caravan Park (heading towards Eshaness). Follow the road to its end to find the Böd.

John Williamson, (circa 1730 - circa 1796), of Hamnavoe Eshaness, became known as Johnny Notions, perhaps because he was a man with ideas (notions) ahead of his time. He was an uneducated but self-taught local man who became known after developing a highly successful method of inoculation against smallpox in the late 18th century, similar to the Suttonian method practised in England (which he may have heard about). He is said to have spent years travelling around Shetland fighting the scourge, sometimes employed by landlords to treat their tenants. According to one observer he inoculated 3,000 people, and lost none.  His former home in Hamnavoe, Eshaness, now serves as one of Shetland's Camping Böds. The böd provides a "basic" comfort (beds, table, benches, candle light, shower and WC) but it is a place where to stay when walking the coastline of Eshaness.

This black wooden extension contains the kitchen, toilet & shower.
Johnnie Notions was buried in the Eshaness graveyard, about 2 miles north of the Böd. This is apparently his gravestone although the inscription is not easily readable. The monument above the stone is a Historic Scotland listed monument.
Just to the left of the grave is another large flat gravemarker with this plaque attached, describing an untimely end for Donald Robertson.