Eshaness Nature And Wildlife

The area of Northmavine boasts a wonderful range of wildlife and habitats. Seals, Otters, Porpoises and occasionally Dolphins and whales can be seen from the shore. Inland expanses of peat and heather are home to Mountain Hares, Rabbits, Polecats and a multitude of birds, including the elegant Red-throated Diver which can be seen on many lochs.

Eshaness Cliffs Zoom

Wildflowers are abundant in the area, with many rare and beautiful species to see, including the Oysterplant at Urafirth and some unusual Arctic-alpine plants on Ronas Hill, Shetland's highest point. Shetland is home to some 26 species of Hawkweed plant, 18 of which are endemic to the isles. While these are now in decline in the wild, there are still populations of these in the Northmavine area. Shetland Amenity Trust is undertaking to conserve the species with an aim to reintroducing extinct and endangered species.

Established as a Special Site of Scientific Interest, the cliffs at Eshaness are home to tens of thousands of seabirds in the summer months. The Fulmars, locally known as Mallies are a common sight floating on the air currents. Ravens can also be regularly seen around the cliffs.

The surrounding moorlands are home to colonies of Arctic Skuas known locally as 'Skooty Aalin'. The Great Skua, or Bonxie, is a common sight swooping from the sky as they aggressively defend their nests and chicks from intruders.


[+dr.source.title+] Zoom The area of Eshaness is a geologist's paradise and contributes significantly to the European and Global Geopark status of Shetland. The peninsula is formed from the remains of an ancient volcano which can be explored using the popular self-guide trail 'Shetland's Volcano'. The volcano was a stratocone volcano, similar to Mount Fuji, although the cone shape has long since eroded away leaving a stunning coastal landscape of cliffs, stacks, blowholes and arches. The cliffs reveal layer upon layer of lava and 'pyroclastic' rock - evidence of explosive eruptions 350-400 million years ago. For full details of the geological wonders in this area, visit To download the self-guide walking trail click here.

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