As many of you will know, I travel up to the Shetland Isles each year for a week, to guide with Hugh Harrop and ‘Shetland Wildlife’. It is one of the weeks in the year that I most look forward to and I still can’t believe that I have the privilege to work with Hugh and share these beautiful islands with our guests.
My link to Shetland goes back many years, when I met a very special friend via a wildlife platform online. Paula Moss and I met on a wildlife chat forum and quickly became friends as we shared wildlife stories and images from two very different locations in the UK!
As our friendship grew online, it soon became clear that we were going to have to meet and lovely Paula invited me and some close friends (all keen photographers) up to Shetland to stay with her! Despite constantly telling my kids never to meet up with people you meet online, I flew all the way to Shetland to stay with someone I had never actually met in the flesh! Pete, Ian, Neil and I spent the most amazing week in Shetland all those years ago and, as I knew we would, Paula and I became good friends.
That friendship has grown over the years, with me returning a number of occasions before I met Hugh and started guiding with him, bringing a trail camera element to one of his tours.
This year will be my 4th year and our ‘Ultimate Shetland’ Tour is fully booked for June!
When I was up in Shetland last year, I saw a film crew at several locations and heard about a new programme being filmed by Maramedia. Quite a few of the amazing Shetland photographers I know who live in Shetland, were involved. When I heard about its launch last week, I couldn’t wait to see it.
Sadly, the programme went out on BBC Scotland last week and I had to catch up on iPlayer…… it really should have been shown across the UK!
I just had to write a blog post, because if you haven’t yet caught up with it , then you MUST! It makes me yearn for the wildness that is Shetland and the truly incredible wildlife that calls Shetland its home. Grab a cuppa and put aside an hour… you won’t be disappointed! Click on the image below to view.
“Ewan McGregor narrates a captivating portrait of wild Shetland – the remote islands at the northerly limits of Britain – and traces the course of a breeding season from the depths of winter to high summer as the animals on the islands battle for survival. In never-before-seen footage, an orca pod hunts seals along the rocky coasts while a mother otter struggles to protect her twin cubs from marauding male otters and spring storms. We also meet some comical puffins, spectacular diving gannets and mysterious storm petrels nesting in an ancient Pictish tower. The programme also features stunning scenes of human life, from crofting and boat building to the jaw-dropping Up Helly Aa fire festival with its Viking hordes.” (BBC iplayer)
I have been lucky enough to see all the wildlife that features on the show, including seeing orca hunting along the rugged coastline… one of the most incredible wildlife sights in my life.
I can’t wait to return in June…. until then, here are a few shots from my trips to Shetland. You can see my blog posts about last year’s trip HERE.
Only 5 months to go…….. until then, I think I’m going to watch it again!