North Mainland Notes

Scope for hydro?

Recently folk may have been aware of men in rubber boots near the site of a number of local burns.

Representatives of sustainable energy advisors, IT Power, are currently carrying out feasibility studies into the prospect of micro-hydro generation in Shetland. Three sites in Northmavine are included in the study.

IT Power, a multi-national company based in Hampshire, has been awarded a collective contract that includes 16 sites in the Western Isles and Shetland. Possible sites in Shetland for consideration stretch throughout the isles from Quendale in the South Mainland to Fetlar. Funding for the collective contract has been provided by Community Energy Scotland.

Generation of energy from micro-hydro would have very little impact on the environment. Extracting energy from Shetland’s most suitable burns would be undertaken using “run of the river” systems. This means that expensive and environmentally damaging dams are weirs are not required.

The system would not store water, and although the supply may run at reduced capacity or cease during the summer months, the bulk of the supply would be produced during the winter months when the greatest amount of energy would be required.

If  Shetland proves a feasible site for hydro generation, the community would own each local project. Each community would develop the project and source possible funding. In return income would be generated through the new “Feed In Tariff” system as a reward for producing green energy. Although the generating capacity of burns in Shetland has yet to be determined, it is hoped that around 50kW could be produced from some of the better burns.

Work by IT Power will be divided into four phases. It is hoped the initial feasibility work will be complete by this summer after which some sites will be eliminated. Planning, screening and scoping will be carried out on the remaining projects, which may again result in some of the sites dropping out.

Phase three will include detailed design of the system and an economic analysis of the proposal. The final phase will include support for planning applications and the necessary documentation for the final community project.

Northmavine Powerdown officer Colin Dickie, has been closely involved with the evolution of the feasibility study for Shetland.

He said: “This is an excellent opportunity for Shetland to harness yet more of its natural resources. Hydro power has been used here for hundreds of years because it has always been seen as a safe and reliable energy source. We look forward to seeing the outcome of the feasibility studies in the next few months.”

Mossbank tickets

The countdown is now on for the last Up-Helly-A’ of the season at Delting on Friday, 19th March. Members of the Jarl’s Squad are now into the final stages of their preparations and each one of the six venues open for the evening festivities is now gearing up for a busy night.

The ever-popular Loveshack will provide the music marathon for Up-Helly-A’ night at the Mossbank hall. Doors open at the hall at 7.30pm and tickets are now on sale at the Mossbank shop or from Kathleen on (01806) 242544.

This year family tickets have been introduced in a bid to encourage a family atmosphere at the hall. Children under five will also be admitted free. Family tickets cost £20, adult tickets are £8 and tickets for children under 16 cost £4. As the event is licenced, under-18s must be accompanied by an adult.

Vidlin funds for Haiti

The recent prize bingo evening in the Vidlin hall, organised by the Vidlin WRI, was very well attended and helped raise a total of £320 for the Haiti earthquake appeal. Members would like to thank everyone who came along to the event and supported the appeal so generously.

Card night at Hillswick

The 500 nights continue at Hillswick hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm. This will be a licensed event and supper and a raffle will be available during the evening.

Chinese takeaways will be available from the hall on Thursday night from 4pm to 9pm. Those wishing to book a takeaway can phone the hall on (01806) 503265.

Preparing the seeds

The first meeting of the North Mainland Gardening Club will take place in the Muckle Roe Hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm.

The committee has organised an evening dedicated to seed sowing and pricking out seedlings following a request from new members last season. They would be delighted to welcome anyone to come along and have a go and are always pleased to welcome new members to the group.

Committee member Maureen Cumming said: “Last year it was gratifying to see a number of new members who then asked the committee to provide hands on demonstrations on subjects such as sowing seeds, working with seedlings and taking cuttings in summer and autumn.

“We have prepared a varied programme for the year ahead and would love to welcome new people to the club.”

During the season the club hopes to hold a bulb show, a plant sale and a variety of garden open days. There will also be a number of visits to gardens throughout Shetland where members can see various styles and designs to inspire them. A warm welcome awaits you along with your eight o’clocks.

Voar is coming!

Peter and Jane Brown at Ollaberry were listening to the laverock singing at 1pm on Sunday. Are they the first?

North Roe sale

Tomorrow night the annual Northmavine parish church sale of work will be held in the North Roe & Lochend hall at 7.30pm.

Any donations to the sale would be gratefully received and the hall will be open from 3pm to accept articles that people would care to donate.

Great men’s night

The Brae men recently held their 26th annual “Men’s Night” in the Brae Community Hall.

This is one of the most popular family events in the area and once again tickets were in high demand. This year it was decided that all profits be equally distributed between the Aith lifeboat and the CLAN 1,2,3 appeal.

Once again the night was a terrific success, with great music and superb food. After all the expenses for the evening had been paid, cheques for £800 were sent to each of the two nominated charities.

The Brae men would like to thank everyone who attended, bought raffle tickets or made donations on the night.

Kirk and community

This Tuesday a meeting will be held in the Hillswick Church of Scotland at 7.30pm to discuss ways in which the kirk and the community could work together to encourage a more diverse use of the church.

Many churches in Shetland, especially the church at Hillswick, are beautiful buildings that could be of more benefit to their communities than at present. The Rev Bob MacGregor would like to hear more from anyone who has any ideas and hopes as many people as possible will come along to Hillswick.

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to hear more or would like to put your views across, please contact Bob on (01806) 522604 or e-mail

Urafirth wind turbine

Following on from the successful recommisioning of the wind turbine at the Lunnasting Primary School, a meeting is to be held in the Urafirth Primary School on Monday at 7pm to discuss the future of the school’s wind turbine. SIC energy manager John Simpson will address the meeting and answer any questions from members of the community. The council is committed to consulting with the local community regarding the turbine project and is happy to discuss the future location and size of the turbine during the meeting.

Any safety concerns from people will also be considered on Monday night, so the parent council would urge folk to go along to the meeting to hear more about the project.

Maree Hay


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