» Skip to content

Shetland Biological Records Centre use and recommend Swarovski binoculars and scopes.

Review of Swarovski’s Swarovision 8x32 binoculars

What's On?

What's On?

Shetland Nature Festival 2014
4th - 11th July 2015

Last updated: Monday 8th June 2015

Otter Otter Zoom

Shetland Nature Festival in partnership with European Geoparks Week

This year, the Shetland Nature Festival is set to be as exciting as ever. The Our Dynamic Earth team from Edinburgh will be back by popular demand, and we have a big arts focus with wildlife drawing and painting workshops at Sumburgh Head. We’ll also be celebrating the UNESCO International Year of Light – there’s just so much going on!!

The programme may be subject to change.  Events will be open for booking from Monday 11th May.  Where events require booking, please contact the provided stated directly. Unless otherwise stated, all U16s must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Please note that children under 5 years go free to all events

Saturday 4th July

Noss Open Day and Festival launch with Our Dynamic Earth and International Year of Light
Family friendly fun including guided walks, underwater viewing, face-painting, and other children’s activities, all in the spectacular setting of Noss National Nature Reserve. Joined this year by Our Dynamic Earth. Hot drinks and snacks available to purchase. Transport provided from Bressay Ferry Terminal.
When & Where: 1200 - 1600 (drop-in), Noss NNR
Price: Free

SUNDAY 5th JULY

Tree Magic - Woodland Journey
A journey through the woodland, looking at trees, their ‘magical’ properties and their place in folklore and religion. There will also be magical storytelling!
When & Where: 1400 - 1600, meet at Kergord main plantation
Price: £5 adults, £2.50 U16s/OAPs
Booking: Recommended (Shetland Amenity Trust, 01595 694688)

Herbal Remedy Making - Kergord
Shetland has a history of using locally picked herbs to make creams, teas, salves and tinctures. This practical workshop introduces two herbs found abundantly in Shetland, and shows you how to make an effective salve with oil, flowers and beeswax. Wear suitable outdoor clothing. Materials will be provided. Minimum age 16.
When & Where: 1400 - 1700 meet at Kergord main plantation
Price: £10
Booking: Essential (Shetland Box Office)

Zoom It’s a Bug’s Life
Come along and have a peerie hock aboot da Crofthouse Museum for peerie creepy crawlies. Grab a magnifying glass and see if you can find etterkaps, slaters, skurdies, drummers or klocks. Make your own bug too!
When & Where: 1000 - 1300, 1400 – 1700 (drop in), Crofthouse Museum, Boddam
Price: Free

Peatland restoration for land managers
Interested in carrying out some peatland restoration as part of a Scottish Rural Development programme (SRDP) Agri-Environment Climate scheme (AEC) application? Come and see an ongoing peatland restoration project in the Cunningsburgh hills and find out what is involved.
When & Where: 10.00-13.00, meet at Fladdabister lay-by (15mins walk to site)
Price: Free (funded by Scottish Natural Heritage Peatland Action Fund)
Booking: Essential (Shetland Amenity Trust, 01595 694688)

Monday 6th July

Botanical drawing from live plants with Shetland artist Diane Garrick
If you enjoy plants and flowers and would like to draw them, then this is the workshop for you. Drawing from live plants, you will explore the potential of graphite, getting to grips with line, measurements and tone. The workshop will also explore how plants have been used in the past for medicinal purposes. Suitable for all levels of drawing ability. Materials will be provided. Participants should bring a packed lunch.
Minimum age 16.
When & Where: 1000 - 1600, Sumburgh Head Education Centre
Price: £30 / £50 packaged with Botanical Painting workshop on 7th July.
Booking: Essential (Shetland Box Office)

Zoom

Incredible Insects

Discover the wonderful world of bugs and moths with Shetland Biological Records Centre, and the RSPB.

When & Where: 1100 – 1300, meet at Kergord main plantation
Price: £5 adults, £2.50 U16s/OAPs
Booking: Essential (Shetland Amenity Trust, 01595 694688)

Our Dynamic Earth and International Year of Light Family Fun - Yell
Explore Shetland in a whole new light: See through rock crystals and adopt a pet rock to take home. Find out which creatures see in Ultra-Violet light and discover more about the wonderful world of bees. Investigate the Northern Lights and spy on the sun with our Solar telescope. Ideal for children 9+.
When & Where: 1100 - 1300, 1400 - 1600 (drop-in), Burravoe Hall
Price: Free

Zoom

A walk through time on RSPB Mousa nature reserve
RSPB Mousa nature reserve is steeped in history and teeming with wildlife. Join RSPB Scotland to explore this fascinating island. Learn about its inhabitants - past and present and unearth its natural treasures.
When & Where: 13.00 – 16.15 Meet at Mousa ferry, Leebitton pier, Sandwick.
Price: £5 adults, £2 children. 50% discount RSPB and Wildlife Explorer members. (ferry fare not included).
Booking: Recommended (shetland@rspb.org.uk or 01950 460800)

Climb Shetland Taster Session
Have a go at sea-cliff climbing with Shetland Climbing Club on beginner-friendly sandstone crags. This activity involves a 20 – 30 minute walk each way. Please wear suitable walking boots and clothing and bring trainers or similar. Minimum age 10.
When & Where: Meet at ferry terminal, Bressay. Ferry departs Lerwick 1800 and Bressay 2145. Transport on island provided.
Price: £10 per person
Booking: Essential (Shetland Box Office)

Tuesday 7th July

Zoom Botanical painting from live plants with Shetland artist Diane Garrick
If you enjoy plants and flowers would like to learn to paint them then this is the workshop for you. Painting from live plants will focus on how to work effectively with watercolours and develop skills in painting. The workshop will also explore how plants have been used in the past for medicinal purposes. Suitable for all levels of painting ability. Materials will be provided. Participants should bring a packed lunch.
Minimum age 16.
When & Where: 1000 - 1600, Sumburgh Head Education Centre
Price: £30 / £50 if packaged with Botanical Drawing workshop 6th July.
Booking: Essential (Shetland Box Office)

Herbal Remedy Making – family friendly workshop
Shetland has a history of using locally picked herbs to make creams, teas, salves and tinctures. This practical workshop introduces two herbs found abundantly in Shetland, and shows you how to make an effective salve with oil, flowers and beeswax. Materials provided. You may wish to combine this activity with the Nature Journal workshop.
12 places available. Minimum age 8.
When & Where: 1400 - 1700 Islesburgh Community Centre
Price: £10 adults / £5.00 U16s/OAPs
Booking: Essential (Shetland Box Office)

Make your own Nature Journal – family friendly workshop
This is a great introduction to the fascinating art of bookbinding. You will leave with a beautiful book and the skills to make your own at home. Using traditional technique you will learn how to make a stitched book by hand, which can then be taken out in the field and filled with your drawings and specimens. Materials provided. Not to be missed!
8 spaces available. Minimum age 8
When & Where: 1000 - 1300 Islesburgh Centre
Price: £20 adults £10 U16s/OAPs
Booking: Essential (Shetland Box Office)

Our Dynamic Earth and International Year of Light Family Fun – West Side
Explore Shetland in a whole new light: See through rock crystals and adopt a pet rock to take home. Find out which creatures see in Ultra-Violet light and discover more about the wonderful world of bees. Investigate the Northern Lights and spy on the sun with our Solar telescope. Ideal for children 9+.
When & Where: 1100 - 1300, 1400 - 1600 (drop-in), Bixter Hall
Price: Free

Zoom Go Wild on the shore – Sands of Sound
Pull on your wellies and join RSPB Scotland to explore the rockpools at the stunning Sands of Sound beach on the edge of Lerwick. From sea hares to starfish – let’s see what we can find!
When & Where: 09.00 – 10.00, 10.00 – 11.00 Meet on Sands of Sound beach 5 minutes before each session.
Price: £5 per family (20% discount for RSPB family members).
Booking: Limited places, booking recommended (shetland@rspb.org.uk or 07721 918764)

Noss NNR Guided Walk
Join the Scottish Natural Heritage warden for a guided walk around the island of Noss to see incredible seabird colonies and spectacular views across Shetland.
When & Where: 11.00 – 17.00 Meet at Noss ferry
Price: Noss ferry adults £3, children £1.50. Guided walk free.

Wednesday 8th July

Wild about Fetlar

Join RSPB Scotland and Shetland Amenity Trust for an exclusive tour of Fetlar’s natural and cultural history. Learn how RSPB Scotland and partners unveiled one of the world’s great migrations and hear up-to-date news from the project.
When & Where: Meet at Gutcher, Yell for the 1005 ferry (or join at Belmont, Unst, on the 1020). Departing Fetlar on 1640 ferry.
Price: £30 per person (includes lunch and transport on Fetlar)
Booking: Essential (Shetland Box Office).

Bogs are Brilliant
A guided walk and introduction to the ecology of blanket bog and sphagnum moss. Learn how peat is formed, what it can tell us about the past and the importance of blanket bog for climate change. Build your own bog in a bottle.
When & Where: 10.00- 13.00, meet at Nicolsons Yard (OS Ref: HU 42672 39575 , Lat/long:  60.138473, -1.233571)
Price: £5 adults / £2.50 U16s/OAPs
Booking: Essential (Shetland Amenity Trust, 01595 694688)

Wet and Wild Adventure Day
See Shetland from a whole new angle through a day of outdoor water-sports and exploration, which could include canoeing and/or coasteering. The activity will be chosen on the day in view of weather and conditions. Transport provided. Minimum age 10.
When & Where: 1000 - 1600, meet at St Sunniva Street Stores
Price: £30 per person
Booking: Essential (Shetland Box Office)

Zoom Eshaness Coast Guided Walk
Explore the spectacular Eshaness coastline with Geopark Shetland. Once an ancient volcano, spewed out lava and ash to form the rocks of Eshaness. Now, 350 million years later, Atlantic storms have carved them into a spectacular array of cliffs, stacks, geos and caves.
When & Where: 1000 – 1300, meet at Eshaness car park
Price: £5 adults, £2.50 U16s/OAPs
Booking: Recommended (Shetland Amenity Trust, 01595 694688)

Thursday 9th July

Botanical illustration / Herbal Remedy Making / Make your own nature journal
This all day workshop on a botanical theme will introduce you to botanical illustration and the art of creating traditional herbal remedies. You will also discover how to create your own journal to preserve your specimen, observations and drawings. You will leave with a beautiful hand stitched book with the plants you have already studied and room for more field specimens. Materials provided. Participants should bring a packed lunch. Minimum age 16.
When & Where: 1000 - 1700 Shetland Museum and Archives Learning Room
Price: £25
Booking: Essential (Shetland Box Office)

Two day seabird drawing workshop with artist and ecologist Howard Towll – day 1
This two day workshop is an introduction to drawing seabirds at one of Shetland’s most accessible seabird colonies. The course will focus on drawing birds from life, by direct observation of the seabirds on the cliffs at Sumburgh Head. The course will provide participants with a better knowledge of the seabirds and lead to lively drawings capturing shape, form, movement, and posture. Suitable for all levels of drawing ability. Materials will be provided. Participants should bring a packed lunch and suitable outdoor clothing.
Minimum age 16.
When & Where: 1000 - 1600, Sumburgh Head Education Centre
Price: £50 per person (for two days)
Booking: Essential (Shetland Box Office)

Otter Tracks and Signs
For most visitors to Shetland, Otters are high on their list of things to see, but the elusive nature of these animals means that many people leave disappointed. This walk will not guarantee you a sighting, but will show you how to search for Otters and recognise the signs of their presence.
When & Where: 1000 – 1200 or 12.30 – 14.30, Meet at Ulsta ferry terminal car park
Price: £5 adults £2.50 U16s/OAPs
Booking: Essential (Shetland Amenity Trust, 01595 694688)

Mousa Magic with Storm Petrels
RSPB Mousa nature reserve is wonderful by day and magical by night. Join RSPB Scotland for an evening walk around this uninhabited island to its 2000yr old Iron Age broch. There we shall wait, for tiny storm petrels to return from the sea under the cover of darkness.
When & Where: 21.00 – 01.00 Meet at the Mousa Boat, Leebitton Pier, Sandwick.
Price: £30.00 per adult, £10 per child. (ferry fare included).
Booking: Essential (www.mousaboat.org.uk, info@mousa.co.uk or 07901 872339)

Friday 10th July

Zoom Two day seabird drawing workshop with artist and ecologist Howard Towll – day 2
This two day workshop is an introduction to drawing seabirds at one of Shetland’s most accessible seabird colonies. The course will focus on drawing birds from life, by direct observation of the seabirds on the cliffs at Sumburgh Head. The course will provide participants with a better knowledge of the seabirds and lead to lively drawings capturing shape, form, movement, and posture. Suitable for all levels of drawing ability. Materials will be provided. Participants should bring a packed lunch and suitable outdoor clothing. Minimum age 16.
When & Where: 1000 - 1600, Sumburgh Head Education Centre
Price: £50 per person (for two days)
Booking: Essential (Shetland Box Office)

Day out in Skerries with Our Dynamic Earth and International Year of Light
Enjoy a day out in one of Shetland’s less well known destinations Out Skerries. Local naturalists will help you identify the wildlife you see on the ferry crossing, and a guided walk will introduce you to the natural heritage of these remote and beautiful islands. After walking you can enjoy refreshments at the local hall and explore Shetland in a whole new light with Our Dynamic Earth.
When & Where: Meet 10.45 Vidlin. Ferry departs Vidlin 11.00 arrives Skerries 12.30. Ferry departs Skerries 16.00 arrives Vidlin 17.30
Price:
£25 per person (includes ferry, guides and refreshments)
Booking:
Essential (Shetland Amenity Trust)

RSPB Go Wild at Fjara
Pull on your wellies! Come rockpooling with RSPB Scotland to discover some of the amazing creatures that live on Shetland’s rocky shore. Anemones to butterfish - let’s see what we can find!
When & Where: 1200 – 1300, 1300 – 1400 Meet outside the Fjara cafe at Sound, 5 minutes before each session.
Price: £5 per family (20% discount for RSPB family members)
Booking: Places limited, booking recommended (shetland@rspb.org.uk or 07721 918764)

Keen of Hamar Guided Walk
From a distance, the Keen of Hamar may appear to be a barren moonscape, but take a closer look and you’ll discover an array of wild flowers amongst the shattered stones. Learn about Unst’s fascinating geology and encounter some of Britain’s rarest flowers, including Edmondston’s Chickweed, which grows nowhere else in the world.
When & Where: 1000 - 1200, meet at Keen of Hamar car park
Price: Free
Booking: Recommended (Shetland Amenity Trust, 01595 694688)

Hermaness Guided Walk
With its stunning coastline and spectacular seabird colonies, Hermaness National Nature reserve is a must-see for any visitor to Shetland. Get up close and personal with Puffins and experience sensory overload as you see, hear and smell the reserve’s huge Gannet colony.
When & Where: 1400 - 1700 approx, meet at Hermaness car park
Price:Free
Booking: Recommended (Shetland Amenity Trust, 01595 694688)

Wet and Wild Adventure Day
See Shetland from a whole new angle through a day of outdoor water-sports and exploration, which could include canoeing and/or coasteering. The activity will be chosen on the day in view of weather and conditions. Transport provided. Minimum age 10.When & Where: 1000 - 1600, meet at St Sunniva Street Stores
Price: £30 per person
Booking: Essential (Shetland Box Office)

Saturday 11th July

Zoom Sumburgh Head Open Day with Our Dynamic Earth and International Year of Light
Get to know the seabirds that live life on the edge at Sumburgh Head! With expert advice and outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy. Join Our Dynamic Earth for family-friendly fun in the Sumburgh Head education room.
When & Where: 1200 - 1700, Sumburgh Head
Price: Outdoor activities /Education Centre free.
Visitor Centre: Adult £6.00, Child (5+) £2.00, Concession (inc RSPB members) £4.00, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £12.50

Additional Event – Drift Drift Drift Zoom

Edinburgh based visual theatre company, Vision Mechanics, has a reputation for staging innovative productions in unconventional spaces. Drift is an artistic installation which is inspired by the true story of Shetlander, Betty Mouat, who in 1886, spent 9 days drifting at sea in a small boat. An impressive team of collaborators have been brought together to create the soundscape and sculptures for this project. This is a headphone event.  Please note it is not suitable for young children.
When & Where: Skaw Beach, Unst. 0700-1200 and 1400-2100 daily between 10th July and 12th July inclusive, 0700-12.00 on 13 July
Price: Entry by donation.  No pre-booking required.  For more info: www.visionmechanics.org

 

DISCLAIMER
This website may contain information about activities which by reason of their physical exertion or the degree of physical fitness required may be unsuitable or dangerous for certain persons, or the web site may describe activities which are inherently dangerous. Shetland Nature Festival makes no representations as to the nature, quality or suitability about any or all of the activities shown on this site and the user agrees that the user shall be responsible for first satisfying himself/herself by independent enquiry or advice as to the suitability of the particular activity.

Contact Details

Shetland Amenity Trust / Geopark Shetland - 01595 694688

RSPB Shetland Office - 01950 460800

Scottish Natural Heritage - 01595 693345

Shetland Box Office - 01595 745500 or 745555