Projects

Here you will find information on the projects you can get involved in on your own local patch, from your own back garden to roadside verges, farmland, moorland or coastline. We hope that by getting involved we will be able to enhance your daily walk whilst you will be able to help support our local wildlife by contributing your sightings.

If you have any questions or would like any further information, send us a message through our Contact Us page.


Featured Project…

Shetland Porpoise Survey

Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) are the smallest of the cetaceans to be spotted around Shetland. They are generally shy creatures and do not often approach boats but can be easily spotted from the shore. They are regularly spotted in Shetland waters in small groups and sometimes in large aggregations that are not seen in many … Read More


Current Projects

Invasive American Lobster- Retain and Report

Marine Scotland recently launched a campaign to help raise awareness of American lobster (Homarus americanus) which are now being found in Scotland. The animals are considered an ‘invasive non-native species’ as they are not naturally found in Scotland and pose a threat to our native wildlife. These animals cannot cross the Atlantic naturally and therefore … Read More

Shetland Shark and Skate Eggcase Hunt

If you have access to the coast and head there as part of your daily exercise we would like you to keep your eye out for shark and skate eggcases or ‘mermaids purses’ as they are often known. Why not get the kids involved too! The shark and skate species around Shetland produce these eggcases … Read More

Become a Skatespotter

As restrictions on water sports continue to be eased, we would like to share the Skatespotter Project, led by NatureScot. Common or Flapper Skate (Dipturus intermedius) are considered critically endangered.  By using unique body markers individuals can be identified from photographs, allowing us to gain new insights into these fascinating fish. Jane Dodd leads the … Read More

Austin Taylor/ Copyright Shetland Islands Council

Have you spotted a Crofter’s Wig?

Crofter’s Wig (Ascophyllum nodosum ecad makii) is a very rare and interesting little seaweed. It is a form of egg wrack (Ascophyllum nodosum)but is free-living (not attached to anything). It is thought to have first originated from broken fragments of the normal form of egg wrack but in very sheltered conditions grows unattached. It gets … Read More

Big Seaweed Search

Whilst you are enjoying a stroll along the beach or rock pooling with the kids, why not take a few minutes to look a bit closer at the seaweed. The first thing you may notice is the array of different colours: reds, browns and greens and the many varied shapes. The British Isles are perfect … Read More

Copyright Lisa Humpray

Shetland’s Marine Non-native Species

Can you help spot marine non-native species in your local area? For a number years, Shetland UHI has been looking for and keeping records of marine non-native species arriving in Shetland. Non-native species are those which come from elsewhere in the world and have become established here, usually transported on hulls of boats or ballast … Read More

Copyright Rachel Shucksmith

Calling all divers and snorkellers!

We are looking for records of rare and important marine life. In Shetland we are very fortunate to have a long and varied coastline, home to a wide variety of marine life. Compared to other parts of the UK, the Shetland coastline is relatively well studied thanks to survey work undertaken to support the building … Read More

Bumblebee Survey

Bumblebees are important pollinators in Shetland and are a useful indicator species of the general environment quality. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some bumblebee species have declined over recent decades possibly due to changing agricultural practices and as an impact of climate change.

Shetland Butterfly Spot

Now that we are fully into spring and the sun is shining, the butterflies have started to appear back in our gardens and wild areas. There are just five species of butterfly commonly seen in Shetland. The Large White (Pieris brassicae) is our only resident butterfly and has a bit of a bad rep with … Read More

Copyright Rebecca Nason

Delve into the World of Hoverflies….

…with this new ID guide by Rebecca Nason A local naturalist and wildlife photographer, Rebecca has a passion for hoverflies and has recently created a leaflet to help people identify and record these garden visitors….. “We are only just beginning to scratch the surface of species, populations and distribution of hoverflies on Shetland, with only … Read More

New Zealand Flatworm Survey 2020

We are teaming up with the fantastic and very experience Orkney Field Club (OFC) for this project. It is one that everyone across Shetland can get involved in in their own garden/allotment. We would like you to tell us about sightings of the invasive NZ Flatworm (and indeed earthworms) to find out more about their … Read More

Zooniverse

Zooniverse in a website dedicated to “people-powered research”. It showcases hundreds of citizen science projects from all across the globe that you can get involved in from the comfort of your own living room. No prior knowledge or experience of the subject is required, they are all super easy and give you all the instructions … Read More