our meadows and wildlife

nort neuk
the cottage
beaches and cliffs
meadows and wildlife
out and about
mucklehus studio
how to get here
travel in Shetland
contact us


Traditional crofting methods have enabled a range of habitats to be sustained, which are very diverse botanically and particularly valuable for wildlife. They provide a dazzling display of floral colour throughout Shetland, in the summer months, with beautiful hanging gardens of sea pink and white campion along the coastal edge and hidden botanical delights in the wet marshes and meadows. Undisturbed by modern methods of cultivation, they also support a rich variety of wildlife. A multitude of bird species inhabit the meadows and shoreline, with oystercatchers, ringed plover and whimbrel common. Other species, including rare migrants, are of interest to the dedicated ornithologist.

Shetland’s Common Seal population is internationally important, with 20% of the British total to be found around our waters. Both Common and Grey seals can be spotted basking on the rocks on sunny days or inquisitively eyeing you up from the sea as you walk along the beach. Porpoises and whales can sometimes be seen in the South Mainland, including if you are lucky, Orca or ‘killer’ whales. Otters may be spotted if you are quiet or patient, or on an organized otter spotting trip. At Sumburgh Head, you can see tens of thousands of seabirds and get very close to puffins from April to August.