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2019 Roadshows....The Shetland Isles part 2 Shetland Marine Wildlife Roadshow

All the experiences of the previous week were absorbed into creating an engaging Shetland described in a letter to participating schools from the roadshow organisers in Shetland, Jan and Pete Bevington of Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary....see Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary online with website, facebook and twitter pages...they are doing brilliant work in Shetland protecting wildlife

Thank you so much for hosting the Shetland Marine Wildlife Roadshow with Andy Peters from The Whale Workshop last week. Andy managed to perform his hour long educational show about sea creatures and the danger they face from plastic pollution in front of 1,258 school students aged from P1 to S4 from 18 schools the length and breadth of the isles.
The show included an introduction to cetaceans, seals, turtles and sharks, featuring his incredible collection of life-like and life-size inflatable marine animals. Students and teachers alike learned about how to identify them, how they breathe, what they eat, and the threats they face from human activity.
The show engaged the audience with an activity to demonstrate how echo location works in whales and dolphins, and a litter picking challenge, which brought out the competitive side in everyone who took part (and the audience too!).
We hope that everyone who came along took home the message about the importance of cleaning up beaches more than once a year during Da Voar Redd Up, as plastic does not just stay on the land waiting to be collected, but washes back out to sea where it can kill fish, sea mammals and birds indiscriminately.

The 5 days of school roadshow was followed by a weekend of public shows, allowing parents to see for themselves the roadshow that so enthralled their children during the school week.  Feedback was 100% positive, and schools are taking onboard ideas suggested during the roadshow to be proactive and start adopting local beaches, initiate change in attitude towards single-use plastic usage, have plastic pledge days, and lots more initiatives....the schools really have a huge part to play in shaping attitude and stimulating public awareness, and the roadshow obviously opened many eyes to the threat that plastic pollution poses to wildlife and the environment.  Job done ! 

Some feedback comments from teachers  : -     

“I really enjoyed it.”
The facts were really good.”
“It was interesting.”
“The models were cool.”
“It was exciting, amazing and it was just wow!”
“A fantastic delivery which really engaged all the audience of all ages. Getting Andy up to Shetland was a really good move.”

A big thanks you to Jan and Pete Bevington of Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary who made the Roadshow happen, to the sponsors who contributed various sums of money to pay for everything, especially to major funder Sea-changers and to Northlink Ferries who provided free return passage for roadshow car and myself.  Also to the people of Shetland who engaged so willingly with the important messages about protecting the environment and its precious wildlife....without which our lives would be immeasurably less interesting and enjoyable. Shetland's marine wildlife could well be a huge part of its future economy and it all needs to be safeguarded !.

see       also   and         for lots of reportage and pictures of the roadshow and to see all the other ongoing related Marine Wildlife stories and events..some of the twitter feeds are     for roadshow at Aith     for great litter pick challenge at Aith High School     for Unst and Yell Roadshows      for Northern Isles Postman's 2 minute litter pick      for video of teachers doing a great litter pick challange at Mid Yell Roadshow       for public roadshow at Hillswick and brilliantly fast litter pick       for more on public roadshow at Hillswick

see also some other media reportage of the Shetland Roadshow at

and there are lots more if you do an online search for Shetland Marine Wildlife Roadshow

see   whose large grant gave the impetus that the roadshow needed to become viable

Click on pictures to enlarge them


This is Hillswick, in the north west of mainland Shetland, and its an interesting place. The Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary is the Roadshow base for the week
This impressive stone house was originally a Hanseatic Trading Post, with sailing ships bringing in and taking out cargoes to Baltic ports.
Wildlife is housed in adjoining buildings like this seal pool
It has an amazing history as detailed on this poster
You might recognise this wonderful seat from the TV series "Shetland", part of which was filmed at Hillswick, and this prop got left behind
The beach is artificial, made up from stones used as ballast in the old trading sailing ships that called here hundreds of years ago
Some interesting old toilet ware now used as planters
Monday morning, early start, bit damp, off we go!
At Sandwick in the south, in the sports hall, all the local schools are bussed in for the roadshow
Creatures all ready, Peter from Hillswick is all ready with the cameras to record things, I am ready, so lets go!
Each of the three 60 minute sessions included an intro to the creatures and the issues affecting Marine Wildlife
Once back at Hillswick, always things to see, with the landscape and the elements in ever changing moods....nice rainbow
Walked towards the rainbow and there in a rockpool, the leftovers from an otter meal. A nice end to a busy day
Next day, at Brae School, things all set up, in a smaller hall, ready for 9.30 start
The introduction covers the marine wildlife on display, including life sized Orca, different Dolphin species, Seals, Porpoise and Turtle, and a baby Seal, Shark and Otter