Trout are unable to live in the Burn of Lunklet because of high concentrations of metal from the Viking construction site, a damning report has found.
A report into water quality around the windfarm site found that the lack of trout in the burn was completely “unprecedented”.
And Waterside Ecology, who monitor the water quality, said the Burn of Lunklet had been “substantially impacted” by very low pH and metals.
This was “almost certainly a result” of excavation at the nearest borrow pit, and a nearby turbine base, they found.
The closest borrow pit to the Burn of Lunklet is the one under investigation by Viking and Shetland Islands Council, following similar run-offs into the Burn of Weisdale – as previously reported by The Shetland Times.
Environmental campaigners have reacted furiously to the report – saying it proves their long-held concerns about the impact of construction on nearby fish and birds.
“This is undoubtedly a shocking report concerning the Burn of Lunklet, but not entirely unexpected,” Sustainable Shetland’s Frank Hay said.
“This confirms what we have said all along.”
Environment and transport chairwoman Moraig Lyall said the findings of the report were “a travesty”.
“A burn that has had a trout population for many years has now been rendered unsuitable for fish,” she said.
“The fears that many people had about the impact of the the construction of Viking Energy windfarm on the ecology of the site have been proved to be well founded.
“Events like this should be kept firmly in mind by those still looking at granting permission for further developments.”
Viking has been approached for comment.
Full story and more reaction in tomorrow’s Shetland Times newspaper.