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International Day of Forests

Published: 21 March 2022

Shetland is not typically known for its forests, but there are in fact many plantations and woodland areas dotted throughout the isles.

Kergord Wood, Weisdale


Our Woodlands Team has been in operation since 1985 conserving and cultivating native trees and woodland species in Shetland as well as maintaining and planting new and existing woodlands.

With the finer weather coming along, now is the perfect time to get outdoors and explore some of the woodlands on our doorstep. Many have been established in places that are there for the enjoyment of the public and wildlife. We’ve highlighted some of the woodlands that SAT has been involved with over the years:

Burn of Valayre a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)


Discover a Shetland woodland near you and start exploring!

  • Burn of Twa Roes – accessible from a track at Ronas Hill, a lovely meandering path all the way to the plantation. This is a very exposed site so the trees are small along the burn.
  • Burn of Valayre (near Brae) – a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Valayre features only native species such as Alder, Aspen, Downy birch, Rowan and Willow. Upstream of the woodland you can find a relict Rowan which is believed to be 200 years old!
  • Loch of Voe – a small wood where you can find well adapted species along true Shetland Aspen and Willow. There’s a lochside path and a couple of newly installed benches, too, where you can while away the time.
  • Brae Community Wood – an easy access large plantation with a mix of broadleaves trees and conifers. There’s lots for children to explore here too.
  • Loch of Clickimin – a site featuring mainly featuring native trees, predominantly birch of Icelandic origin, alder and Shetland native willow. A lovely short walk in town with benches and views of the Clickimin broch.
  • Kergord Wood (Weisdale valley) – a firm family favourite, and one of Shetland’s largest and oldest woodland plantations with the first trees planted in the early 20th century. Expect to see spruce, larch, fir and sycamore. If you head up the plantation, you could find the newly installed bench overlooking the burn!
  • Sullom Plantation – a well established woodland with several paths where you can do a circular loop walk. Stop and observe the dead standing trees, important microhabitats, it’s a haven for specialised organisms, such as fungi and invertebrates among others!

For more information on how to access these and other woodland sites in Shetland there’s a brilliant guide written by Shetland Wildlife Community Group. Follow the link here