These are all in various stages from gathering community ideas to securing funding to almost completed.
We have begun a project which will recreate Shetland's once common scrub woodland. We will be planting a total of 3000 trees, all historically native to Shetland. BDL has been working with members of the community, RSPB, Shetland Amenity Trust's Woodland Team and the landowner since July 2020 to develop the plan.
This project aims to: -
Provide a unique oppertunity to recreate Shetlands once widespread scrub habitat, allowing long-term diversity change free from sheep and rabbits.
Provide a new kind of year round recreation space for the community along with social, volunteering and educational opportunities.
Be planted only with species listed in prof. David Spence's book 'Shetland's Living Landscape, A Study Of Island Plant Ecology'.
Provide outdoor education and play space for bairns and nurture an interest in nature and the local environment which has been more evident during lockdown.
We are delighted to announce that we have secured funding for this project from SUEZ Community Landfill Fund and the Woodland Trust. Work is due to start in July, firstly to fence the site, with our 1st set of 1000 trees planted by May 2022.
Speldiburn Green energy and heating project
This project, completed in April 2021, has already produced amazing results. Speldiburn is warm, the heating is easy to control and we've seen huge savings in our energy bills and CO2 emmissions.
The improvements included: -
Removal of all storage heaters, which have been replaced by air source heat units
The addition of extra loft insulation into the old part of the building (the only part with loft space)
40 solar panels added to the roof of the wooden extension
You can see how much energy the solar panels are generating for us in real time by following this link - it's facinating to watch all the free, green energy coming in, produced by the sun! Since installation of the panels and the heat pumps, we are seeing a reduction in our energy consumption of upwards of 50 per cent per month.
Funding was provided by Scottish Government funding through HIE and CARES.
Community Asset Transfer of the Former Bressay school and surrounding site to BDL
This project is complete. BDL has spent several years gathering community feedback, securing funding, discussing proposals with Shetland Islands Council, undertaking building surveys and putting together a buisness plan.
In November 2020 the Shetland Islands Council agreed the Asset Transfer of Bressay school to BDL.
BDL agreed puchase of the school in March 2021
BDL became the registered owner of on the 5th November 2021
Funding and advice for this project has been provided to BDL by HIE and the Scottish Land Fund.
Growing, Gardening and increasing access to local food.
BDL is in the early stages of investigating ways to make Bressay more resiliant by increasing and supporting local food production. We want to help support members of the community to become more confident gardeners and to help ensure everyone has access to good outdoor spaces.
In early 2021 BDL sent a questionnaire to households at the Glebe, Fullaburn and Hamilton Park, and to our members, to help us understand the communities needs and wishes in relation to sustainable food production, availability of growing space, communal recreation. We highlighted specifically the SIC owned sites at Fullaburn and Hamilton Park because the SIC has a new policy to offer unused council land for food production. We have had a number of responses covering a wide range of topics. Replies so far suggest that folk would like easier access to local grown produce and that the square below Hamilton Park and the garden by the Galley Shed (in need of re-invigorating) are valued assets.
There's lots for folk to comment on: - sustainable food, increasing access to local produce, increasing access to outdoor recreation space, encouraging sustainable gardening, supporting local producers.... We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.