Visit Shetland’s Nature Reserves


When you think of the Shetlands your first thought may be of its wonderfully rugged landscape and you are not wrong. Shetland has an incredibly diverse and rich habitat which allows for a wide variety of fauna and avifauna to flourish here. There are many nature reserves and RSPB reserves across the islands in which to explore, spot species and get some wonderful photography.

Noss Nature Reserve is just a 20-minute car journey and short ferry crossing from Lerwick. Here you will find 23,00 Gannets, 24,000 Guillemots and 10,000 Fulmar – a truly spectacular sight! The Hermaness Nature Reserve (owned by Scottish Natural Heritage) is in the summer home to over 100,00 breeding sea birds including Gannets, Shags, Kittiwakes and of course the lovable ‘Tammie Norrie’, the Puffin. On the surrounding moorland you will find Whimbrels, Red-throated Divers and Golden Plovers.

The RSPB Reserve Sumburgh Head is the most accessible of the reserves, the cliffs are home to thousands of seabirds including Puffins, Razorbills and Shags. The reserve is also one of the best places to watch for sea mammals. The Head has 100 metre cliffs giving visitors unobstructed and unrivalled views of the seabird colonies and marine life. In summer months this is a great place to look for dolphins, Minke Whales and even Orcas.