Those pesky mosquitos (Matthew Laurence)

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.

Matthew Lawrence
Da Neuk,


Add Your Comment
  • John Smith

    • June 11th, 2011 6:20

    Yes i totally agree. A goddam disgrace. Jim Budge should be ashamed of himself.

  • John Smith

    • June 11th, 2011 6:26

    Forgot to say, i will be making a complaint to the relevent organisations.

    Can you imagine a tourist family in the future coming to Shetland after spending a small fortune on the boat only to be greeted to the North by huge windmills. To escape this they head South to St Ninians Isle to be confronted by idiots on quad bikes. What a joke!!!

  • John Kryton

    • June 11th, 2011 8:28

    THE ISSUE: Because wind turbines are sometimes sited in landscapes which possess high scenic value, their impact on tourism has from time to time been questioned. Research from overseas and anecdotal evidence within Australia indicates that wind developments do not negatively influence tourism, and may in fact be having a positive effect.
    “For over two years, we have operated tours at the Codrington wind farm, and in that time have welcomed many thousands of visitors, many of whom have come to the area specifically to visit the wind farm. We have only seen positive local economic benefits resulting from the existence of the Codrington wind farm… No technology is perfect,
    but a wind farm is one way of contributing to our energy needs, and at the same time to reducing greenhouse gas production and the associated climate change that may irrevocably change our coast line and way of life in the future if we do not take some action now.”

    Wind turbines are new feature in the Australian landscape, and much media attention has focused on how they might impact tourism in regions with high scenic value. Of course, sensitive development through judicious planning is vital to ensure valuable landscapes are maintained. This is why the Australian Wind Energy Association is working with the
    Australian Council of National Trusts to develop mutually agreed methodologies for assessing landscape values.
    There are no Australian studies to substantiate the occasional claim that wind farms will harm tourism. On the contrary, initial polls and anecdotal evidence in Australia indicate the opposite may be true: wind farms are more likely to attract
    tourists. Wind farm visitor centers around the country are clocking thousands of visits, and tourism operations are springing up around wind farms.
    Overseas evidence backs up this trend. New in-depth research from Scotland performed in a highly scenic area with a high density of wind farms indicates that tourists are much more likely to be attracted than put off by the knowledge that there are wind turbines in the area. In Denmark, a small country with the world’s highest wind turbine development, well over (6,000 turbines), tourism has grown 50% since 1980 and wind farms are thought to have had no negative effects on the tourist industry. Critically, public opinion there about turbines is unchanged, in that most Danes still want more wind


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