More Covid cases, Greens welcome council tax freeze, new lace exhibition, Bressay woodland open day, Loganair timetable

THE CONTINUOUSLY high Covid numbers in Shetland show no sign of abating with another 72 recorded confirmed cases over the last 24 hours, adding to a tally of 543 cases over the last seven days.

Shetland’s incidence rate per 100,000 population at 2,374 continues to be three time the national average.

The high infection rate has a very tangible impact on the local economy and the delivery of vital services with many businesses and agencies short staffed.

NHS Shetland said many cases were asymptomatic and suggested that the high number of local cases is due to a combination of more people taking lateral flow tests and recording the results, as well as not as many folk not keeping to the Covid guidance as strictly as they used to.

SHETLAND Greens have welcomed the decision by Shetland Islands Council on Wednesday to freeze council tax and rents for the next financial year.

Prospective council election candidate Debra Nicolson said many people in Shetland were already facing huge rises in energy costs in April.

“I am so pleased to see that councillors have recognised how devastating the effect of having to pay more council tax and rent would be for people at this time.

“While it is important for the council’s budget to be fiscally sustainable, the intense financial stress people are under right now justifies this emergency measure.  This is the ‘rainy day’ we have the reserves for.

“In the longer term, we need to replace council tax with a fairer system that does not hit those on lower incomes the hardest.”

Shetland fine knitted lace on display at Shetland Museum and Archives. Photo: Shetland Amenity Trust

A NEW display of Shetland fine knitted lace spanning two centuries is now available to view at the Shetland Museum and Archives.

The display, which is a redesign of the original lace exhibition in the permanent galleries, is one of the outcomes of the two-year Lace Assessment Project which was led by textiles curator Dr Carol Christiansen and funded by Museum Galleries Scotland.

“Since 2009 we have done extensive research on Shetland knitted lace design and the lace industry, which began in the late 1830s,” Dr Christiansen said.

“We wanted to revise our permanent display to reflect our expanded view of its history and importance and to include new, important donations received in the last decade.

“A second important outcome of the Lace Project is our new understanding of why Shetland lace was designed in the way it was.”

A series of blogs following the progress and findings of the project can be found on the Shetland Museum website here.

Fencing and boardwalk installed in advance of woodland planting. Photo: Bressay Development.

BRESSAY Development Ltd is hosting a woodland information day at Speldiburn on Sunday between 2pm and 4pm in advance of commencing an ambitious woodland project on a four hectare site on the east side of the island adjacent to Brough Loch.

Over the next three years 3,000 trees comprising species native to Shetland, including rowan, downy birch and common alder, will be planted and the impact of rewilding and excluding sheep grazing monitored through annual quadrat vegetation surveys.

Fencing, rabbit wiring and a boardwalk to ensure access for all to the new woodland have already been installed.

In advance of the first shovel going into the ground the community enterprise hopes many people will take the opportunity to learn more about the project and its benefits for the area. The café will also be open.

LOGANAIR has launched its winter schedule for the 2022/23 season enabling customers to book flights up to a year ahead on over 70 routes throughout the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia.

Highlights of the winter schedule include larger planes on a number of key routes as well as extra Christmas flights on the busy routes to the Scottish islands.

The airline which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary has also pencilled in extra flights to meet demand around Lerwick’s Up Helly Aa festival at the end of January 2023.

Loganair’s chief commercial officer Kay Ryan said: “The scale of our winter 2022/23 schedule reflects both our growing confidence in the recovery of air travel after the pandemic and the range of services that our customers have now come to expect of us.

Shetland News