Shetland is often considered “treeless” or not able to support trees in its rugged, exposed landscape. While the geography and climate of Shetland means that you will not find large forests as in mainland Scotland, you can easily see trees in the landscape when travelling across the archipelago. These trees are mostly observed in enclosed areas, as the grazing pressure is far too high for trees to naturally regenerate to their past extent (learn more in the tree history tab).
To increase restoration of woodland habitats in Shetland, we encourage everyone to undertake woodland creation in suitable sites and focusing on native species sourced locally to protect our heritage. This can also help diversification of activities, and bring a positive feeling by contributing in acting against the global nature crisis. You can learn more about how to choose a site, the recommended species and how to plant a tree in the advice section.
Shetland Amenity Trust also undertook woodland creation projects over the years and you can learn more about it in the community woodlands tab. While it will be a long process, it will be an ongoing effort to seek funding to expend existing plantations or develop new native woodlands.
Woodland creation can be a costly activity and various options exist to support large planting projects. We help in the application process for several planting schemes and can offer advice on the best options depending of the project scale. For more information please, refer to the crofter and landowner tab.
Free trees are also offered to schools and community groups, please learn more in the different sections under the advice section.
Trees are now an addition to planning application, this will support further planting in development projects. You can learn more in the developer tab.