A major new housing development proposed for Nesting could be at risk because of the chance discovery of a rare plant by botanists out on a recent field study.
The discovery of more than 300 flowering examples of the bog orchid was made at an area of Catfirth where nine private housing plots have been planned.
The area is thought to be the only place on the Mainland where the plants are flourishing. Other bog orchids have been seen in Papa Stour and in Yell, but Catfirth’s is the largest population in the isles.
Earlier this year construction company E&H Building Contractors lodged plans to develop the site. An application for planning permission in principle was lodged with the council in January. The company says it will seek to address any concerns, and is hopeful a solution can be found.
• For full story, see this week’s Shetland Times.