It was a glorious day on Sunday 5th June and as I sat in my newly-erected polytunnel, enclosed in the warmth, tending to my seedlings, I was enjoying the peace and quiet that only Shetland can really offer on a sunny day, when I was suddenly aware that all I could only hear (again!) was the sound of giant mosquitos coming from St Ninian’s Isle.
Well, trail bikes actually, but that is how annoying they sound. The noise is of a sufficiently high pitch where you can not blank it out and it goes on all afternoon. It really was quite unpleasant and intrusive. This is about the third weekend it has happened and just makes you give up on even thinking about going down to the beach. I know my neighbours are equally peed off about this intrusion.
Apart from the noise pollution it makes me wonder what the owner of the land, upon which these killjoys are ripping up with their pointless polluting toys, really thinks how permitting this activity to take place on his property is going to benefit everyone, both locals and visitors?
Apart from damaging the fragility of the dunes and pumping out unneccessary carbon emissions it is going make tourists, who come from world-wide, to see our lovely tombolo go away with a bitter taste in their mouth and an extremely bad impression of how Shetland really treats its environment and visitors.
Why bother coming all the way up to lovely and relatively unspoilt Shetland when somewhere cheaper now might offer something still unspoilt?
Also only a few months ago in this very paper, there was an article expounding the joy of getting a Blue Flag for St Ninian’s Beach. These are, to my understanding, quite difficult to attain but also very easy to lose if enough people complain to the relevant organisation which gives these prestigious awards.
Does Shetland tourism really want to risk losing these accolades? How damaging is this going to be for our economy which is heavily reliant on tourism at this time of the year?
I am not being a complete nimby and realise that as there is no law of trespass here that these people can do as they well please. Fine if someone is using a quad bike for legitimate purposes but if these individuals feel they have to indulge in such an activity then could they please go and do it somewhere where it isn’t going to cause grief?
It is a mindless pursuit which is ruining a beautiful beach and poses a danger, not only to the wildlife and fragile ecology but also to tourists and local people who want to go for a walk and use their beach on the day of rest and relax.
You can’t do that if the area resembles Brands Hatch, and a by the by I sincerely hope that these individuals, and the property owner, have adequate insurance to cover themselves in the possibility of an incident occuring.