Clickimin loch group branded ‘shambles’ over inaction

The group formed to investigate the lifeless state of Clickimin loch has been branded a “shambles” over its poor progress.

Lerwick Community Council members who joined the SIC-led group in the hope of tackling the loch’s long-term decline have expressed frustration over its failure to make headway.

LCC chairman Jim Anderson said on Monday he would write to SIC chief executive Maggie Sandison asking her to “knock heads” together.

Without blaming either of the group’s chairmen – first Robert Sinclair and more recently Kenn Allan – Mr Anderson said something needed to be done.

LCC members also agreed to ask the SIC to provide minutes of all previous meetings and data about the loch’s decline.

The frustration follows similar criticisms raised recently by Shetland Bird Club’s Ray Johnston, who helped push for the group’s formation in 2021 after repeatedly highlighting how it had been abandoned by wildlife.

Speaking to The Shetland Times last month, Mr Johnston said he had been “enraged” by the group’s December meeting – the first held in eight months.

With a change of chairman and many new faces around the table, Mr Johnston said the meeting wasted time going over old ground.

The only update was the unwelcome news that the SIC had ruled out funding the previously promised investigations into water quality at the loch.

Mr Johnston had also written to LCC, with Mr Anderson summarising his view as “he’s waited a long time for a meeting that was a waste of time”.

Mr Anderson questioned: “Why set up a group if you’re’ going to do nothing.

“It’s nonsense.”

Councillors Damien Ristori and Arwed Wenger, who attended the December meeting on behalf of LCC, were also frustrated by the lack of progress.

Mr Ristori described the group as a “shambles” and “really disorganised”.

Having raised several points about the history of the loch’s decline, Mr Ristori said he was disappointed these were not recorded.

Mr Wenger said previous meetings had been just as poorly organised, with invites being sent out late and no minutes being taken.

The only issue that had been progressed, Mr Wenger said, was the confirmation that the SIC owned at least part of the site.

He added: “The next question is, who is responsible for the water?”

The group’s initial remit had been to investigate the state of the loch and form an action plan.

But although Mr Sinclair, who is SIC assets manager, told LCC last April that experts had been approached to carry out water sampling at the loch, nothing further has happened.

And although Mrs Sandison wrote in a letter to Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart last July that the SIC would take a “lead role” in investigating what had happened – no funding has been provided to support such efforts.

Mr Johnston said he intended to lobby all councillors to push for the SIC to deliver on its responsibilities.

The SIC has been approached for comment.


Add Your Comment
  • Mr ian Tinkler

    • January 10th, 2023 13:46

    It is not rocket science to see what is wrong. A very small rain catchment area linked with two-thirds of the loch being built up by modern developments. Any and all pollutants entering the rainwater systems and drains will find their way into the loch water. Household detergents from car washing, window cleaning, decorating, concreting, garden herbicides, fertilizers, and insect sprays will all concentrate in the water. The result will be algal blooms and eventually turn the water into a phosphate nitrate-rich cesspit. The solution is natural and simple, many thousands of trees with their roots absorbing the pollutants Willows, and Alder et al are cheap, easy, and grow from cuttings. They can be planted actually in and on the edge of the water. Is the Council so scientifically ignorant they can not see the blatantly obvious?? If anyone wants to see such planting, 4000 plus cuttings placed this year.

  • Ali Inkster

    • January 10th, 2023 14:01

    £85 for a test kit an hour out of someone’s day and the jobs done. I find it incredible that no one at the SIC or LCC is bothered enough to do even this basic level of testing but can have loads of meetings achieving sweet fa

    • Ali Inkster

      • January 10th, 2023 14:05

      Or maybe Mr Anderson could ask his bosses at scoti water to do the testing as a gesture of goodwill to the community?

      • Mr ian Tinkler

        • January 11th, 2023 10:44

        Any standard-grade chemistry student from the high school could do a water analysis. It would be a useful exercise. The biology students could log microorganisms in the loch sediments and a really comprehensive picture would soon evolve. They would not have far to go for samples!! Not Rocket Science just simple environmental science clearly far too much for SEPA or the numbskulls at the SIC to understand.

  • Mr ian Tinkler

    • January 11th, 2023 10:47

    Post Script. That is assuming the teachers are not on strike.


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.