Noss to close to public from Friday due to bird flu

Noss Nature Reserve will close to the public from Friday, 1st July, to help protect the seabird population from bird flu.

And NatureScot will also advise people not to walk through colonies at Hermaness too – instead asking them to observe birds from a safe distance.

The measures are the latest in response to growing concern over the spread and impact of the current strain of avian flu, particularly in seabird colonies.

Large numbers of dead and sick seabirds have been reported in Shetland recently, with bonxies and gannets hardest hit.

NatureScot’s deputy director of nature and climate change, Eileen Stuart, said the decision to close Noss and a reserve on the Isle of May “has not been taken lightly”.

“We are increasingly concerned about the devastating impact avian flu is having in Scotland, particularly on our seabird colonies.

“The situation has been rapidly evolving and deteriorating, and we feel at this time that restricting access to these sites, and reducing it at others, is a precautionary but proportionate approach that gives us the best chance of reducing the spread of the virus and its impact.

“We recognise that this will be disappointing for those planning a visit but we hope people understand that this is about protecting our precious seabird populations for the future.

“Visitors will still be able to enjoy the summer seabird spectacle at both island reserves by taking round-island trips without coming ashore, and at other reserves by viewing from a short distance without crossing through colony areas.”


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.