Projects and Activities
The Shetland Amenity Trust Woodlands Team is involved in a number of ongoing activities and community projects.
Northern and Western Isles Woodland Creation.
Tenants and landowners can apply for grants to plant new areas of woodland in Shetland. The Woodlands Projects Officer acts as an agent for the Forestry Commission in advising and assessing potential sites for this grant scheme which is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme. A detailed set of guidance notes have been produced to help applicants through this process, and further advice can be given if required. See our Advice and Resources page for more details.
Hawkweed Biodiversity Action Plan
The team are involved with Scottish Natural Heritage and Shetland Biological Records Centre in conserving the rare endemic Shetland hawkweed (Hieracium) species. An ex-situ collection of each of the sixteen species is maintained in the glasshouse, in addition to some other nationally rare ones. Propagated samples are taken from them for replanting into ‘the wild’ to re-establish the plants in their native environment.
Biomass/Short Rotation Coppice trial
Staff have recently started a Short Rotation Coppice trial for willow, to see whether it can be sustainably grown for woodfuel in Shetland. This has included growing two Alaskan willows not yet tested in the UK, two varieties bred especially for SRC but not yet tested in the Highlands and Islands area, and two which gave the best results in a recent Orkney trial.
Tissue culture of rare Scottish alpine plants
Work in the glasshouse is currently undertaking tissue culture (or micropropagation) of four very rare Scottish alpine plants, found in the Grampian mountains: Alpine sow-thistle, Alpine and Nottingham catchfly, and Alpine milk-vetch. This is part of a conservation project run by the University of Dundee Botanic Garden.
There is a long term plan to establish an Arboretum to display the vast collection of trees and shrubs from around the world for the benefit of the public. Many of the examples possessed come from seed distribution from the members of the Nordic Arboretum Committee, to which we are affiliated.
Plants, shrubs and trees grown in the glasshouse are often used to enhance and establish community gardens, wildlife areas, public spaces and school projects. Some recent examples include Nesting School and, the Oversund roundabout and park. Ongoing maintenance and improvements are also carried out on gardens already established, such as at Voe House in Walls.