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2019 Roadshows....The Shetland Isles part 1

Having finished Aberdeen Dolphin Festival, time to get the Northlink ferry to Shetland and spend a week re-acquainting myself with these wonderful islands, having previously visited with the roadshow around 15 years ago. Great to be back !  The time spend in part 1 of my visit was essential to acclimatize to the pace of life, the landscape, the soft Shetland accent, and everything else, before the hectic second week of school and public roadshows across the islands. 

So enjoy this part 1 , a journey through the landscape of The Shetland Isles, to search out special places, explore the issues, and collect some interesting things.  All of this and more will help me shape the Shetland Isles Marine Wildlife Show in May 2019

Click on pictures to enlarge

My trusty Toyota about to transport the roadshow onto the Northlink ferry from Aberdeen to Shetland
Leaving Aberdeen Harbour behind as the ferry steams out on the 12hour crossing, with good weather and a calm sea
Early arrival in Lerwick, after a smooth crossing and ferry is spot on time, well done Northlink for sponsoring the ferry cabin and car passage
After collecting lots of excellent tourist leaflets from the ferry terminal, it was away to do some beachcombing. This is St Ninians Isle, a classic example of a "tombola"
The tombola or double sided beach connects St Ninian's Isle to the South Mainland
Got the beach to myself, apart from the birds...nice place, peaceful and unspoilt
...well almost unspoilt, apart from bits of plastic in amongst the natural beach might not notice the plastic at first....
...but once you start pulling plastic out of the seaweed, it soon mounts up into a pile of it, and some of it is tiny micro-plastic items
An empty bottle to stuff with fishing net offcuts, and a woven plastic bag even....people using the sea as a dustbin is not sustainable
Lots of fishing net offcuts everywhere, into the bag they go, and it took a good hour to walk the length of the tombola both sides picking up plastic
Back at the bench, here is what I picked up...why bother eh, there will be lots more wash in tomorrow
...Here is the reason to bother about the plastic on the beach...I spent time here cleaning the beach for this "free spirit" and everyone else who loves beautiful places.
Plenty more people feel the same way, here is the plastic lifted off this same beach over the previous weekend, the rubbish container is full of it
The Shetland Isles has the largest community clean up in the British Isles, it is called Da Voar Redd Up, but more stuff washes up every day alas
You only live once, so engage with life, it always rewards you