Bressay’s mixture of peat hills, improved croft land, beaches and cliffs provides a rich variety of habitat which is easily accessed for anyone hoping to see a range of flora, birds, otters and seals.


Sheltered and free from grazing sheep, Wadbister and its neighbour Gorie boast a particularly diverse range of wildflowers, including Eyebright, Orchids, Bog Asphodel, and ragged Robin.

Spring Squill and Sea Pinks cover the cliff tops in June.

Roadside verges offer pretty displays of summer flowers including Birds-Foot Trefoil, Angelica and Tormentil.

Wild Thyme can be found growing on the dry banks above the ruined water mills at Setter.


Cliffs on Bressay’s east side, overlooking Noss Nature Reserve, house populations of Fulmar and Puffins. Terns and Gannets are common sights at the cost.

Inland heather hills are home to the numerous Great Skua, Artic Skua and in some areas Red Grouse. Golden Plover, Snipe, Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Lapwings are common throughout the areas of moorland.


The Bressay Marina regularly offers an easy-to-access view of seals although they can be spotted at many of the Islands coves and beaches. Cuppa Bay, north of Cullingsburgh is a reliable spot for sighting otters.

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