Settlers + clearance + farming + heather burning + sheep = no trees...!
That's not strictly true. There are sporadic patches of woodland where Sycamores and Evergreens mingle... however there is no 'Knowledge of the Oak' to be gleaned hereabout, nor the symbolism of the Rowan(Luis) berry, nor the femininity of the Willow(Saille), with it's hallowed links to the Triple Goddess and the recently celebrated festival of Imbolc.
Often these pocket sized natural sanctuaries have been decimated by high winds and have often provided seclusion for gatherings of alcohol induced revelry...I guess that's fine, if a degree of due respect is forthcoming...but sadly, and all to frequently it goes unrealized that 'Tennants' cans left in situ do not biodegrade...!!
The 'Shetland Amenity (charitable) Trust', was set up to conserve and enhance the heritage of the Islands.
It's strategies for woodland renewal are:-
- Preservation and development of existing woodland
- Conservation, propagation and re-establishment of native trees
- Creation of a Shetland Arboretum to foster interest in trees and participate in international conservation strategies
- Encouragement of the use of trees, shrubs and other woodland flora in the Shetland landscape, both urban and rural, so that they enhance the environment, and are of positive value to people and wildlife, for both present and future generations
Perhaps a few 'Songs from the Wood' aren't such a pipe dream any more....