Fetlar is one of the North Isles
North Isles
The North Isles are the northern islands of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The main islands in the group are Yell, Unst and Fetlar. Sometimes the islands in Yell Sound are included in this group.- Importance :...

 of Shetland, Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, with a population of 86 at the time of the 2001 census. Its main settlement is Houbie on the south coast, home to the Fetlar Interpretive Centre. Fetlar is the fourth largest island of Shetland and has an area of sixteen square miles.


One of the strange features of Fetlar is a huge wall that goes across the island known as the Funzie Girt
Funzie Girt dyke
Funzie Girt is an ancient dividing wall that was erected from north to south across the island of Fetlar in Scotland. Some sources describe it as having been built in the Neolithic, but the date of construction is not certainly known. The line of the wall, which ran for over , once divided the...

 or Finnigirt Dyke. It is thought to date from the Mesolithic
The Mesolithic is an archaeological concept used to refer to certain groups of archaeological cultures defined as falling between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic....

 period. So sharp was the division between the two halves of the island, that the Norse talked of East and West Isle separately. One posited etymology is from fetill, meaning a "strap", so possibly the island's name means "two islands strapped together". It was recorded as "Fötilør" in 1490.

Another attraction on the island is the Gothic Brough Lodge
Brough Lodge
Brough Lodge is a 19th-century Gothic mansion on Fetlar, one of the Shetland Islands in northern Scotland. Built by the Nicolson family, who were responsible for clearing Fetlar of many of its inhabitants, it has been disused since the 1980s. The Brough Lodge Trust has recently started work to...

, built by Arthur Nicolson in about 1820, and which is undergoing restoration by the Brough Lodge Trust. The Fetlar sheepdog
Herding dog
A herding dog, also known as a stock dog or working dog, is a type of pastoral dog that either has been trained in herding or belongs to breeds developed for herding...

 trials take place annually, normally in July. The Fetlar Foy is very popular with Shetlanders and tourists alike. It takes place at midsummer on the Links at Tresta where folk are entertained with music, food and drink.

Its most famous son was Sir William Watson Cheyne Bt FRS FRCS
Sir William Cheyne, 1st Baronet
Sir William Watson Cheyne, 1st Baronet KCMG CB FRCS FRS was a British surgeon and bacteriologist, who pioneered the use of antiseptical surgical methods in the United Kingdom, as well as abdominal surgery....

, a close associate of Lord Lister and one of the pioneers of antiseptic
Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction...

s. He was professor of surgery at King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Royal College of Surgeons of England
The Royal College of Surgeons of England is an independent professional body and registered charity committed to promoting and advancing the highest standards of surgical care for patients, regulating surgery, including dentistry, in England and Wales...

 and wrote many books on medical treatments. He was made a baronet for services to medicine in 1908, was an MP first for the Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews and then the Combined Scottish Universities in 1917 and 1918. He was Lord Lieutenant of the Shetland Islands from 1919 to 1930. Cheyne died on Fetlar on 19 April 1932.


Fetlar has a highly international selection of shipwrecks including Danish
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Dutch
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and Soviet vessels.

Geography and geology

Fetlar has a very complex geology, including gneiss
Gneiss is a common and widely distributed type of rock formed by high-grade regional metamorphic processes from pre-existing formations that were originally either igneous or sedimentary rocks.-Etymology:...

 in the west, metamorphosed
Metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock is the transformation of an existing rock type, the protolith, in a process called metamorphism, which means "change in form". The protolith is subjected to heat and pressure causing profound physical and/or chemical change...

Gabbro refers to a large group of dark, coarse-grained, intrusive mafic igneous rocks chemically equivalent to basalt. The rocks are plutonic, formed when molten magma is trapped beneath the Earth's surface and cools into a crystalline mass....

 and phyllite
Phyllite is a type of foliated metamorphic rock primarily composed of quartz, sericite mica, and chlorite; the rock represents a gradation in the degree of metamorphism between slate and mica schist. Minute crystals of graphite, sericite, or chlorite impart a silky, sometimes golden sheen to the...

, and kaolin. There is also antigorite and steatite here. Talc
Talc is a mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate with the chemical formula H2Mg34 or Mg3Si4O102. In loose form, it is the widely-used substance known as talcum powder. It occurs as foliated to fibrous masses, its crystals being so rare as to be almost unknown...

 was mined here.

Fetlar is surrounded by a number of small islands, particularly in the sound between it and Unst
Unst is one of the North Isles of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles and is the third largest island in Shetland after the Mainland and Yell. It has an area of .Unst is largely grassland, with coastal cliffs...

. These include to the north:
  • Daaey
  • Haaf Gruney
    Haaf Gruney
    Haaf Gruney is a small island in the north east of the Shetland Islands.-Geography and geology:The island is between Unst and Fetlar which are to the north and south respectively. Between it and Yell are a mini-archipelago of small islands including Linga, Sound Gruney, Urie Lingey, Daaey and...

  • Sound Gruney
    Sound Gruney
    For other islands with similar names, see Gruney Sound Gruney is one of the Shetland islands. It lies about north of Hamars Ness on Fetlar, south of Unst, and to the east of Yell.-Geography:...

  • Urie Lingey
    Urie Lingey
    For other islands with similar names, see Linga Urie Lingey is one of the Shetland Islands. It is between Fetlar and Unst, and Yell is to the west.-Geography:...

  • Uyea

and to the west:
  • Hascosay
    Hascosay is a small island lying between Yell and Fetlar in the Shetland Islands, Scotland.-Geography and geology:The island's rock is coarse micaceous gneiss....

  • Linga
    Linga, Yell
    Linga is a very small uninhabited island in the Bluemull Sound, Shetland, Scotland. It is one of many islands in Shetland called Linga. It has an area of 45 ha and is 26m at its highest point.-Geography and geology:...

It is separated from Hascosay and Yell by Colgrave Sound. Much further to the south are the Out Skerries and Whalsay
-Geography:Whalsay, also known as "The Bonnie Isle", is a peat-covered island in the Shetland Islands. It is situated east of the Shetland Mainland and has an area of . The main settlement is Symbister, where the fishing fleet is based. The fleet is composed of both pelagic and demersal vessels...



Fetlar's wildlife is as varied as its geology. For example, over two hundred species of wild flower have been identified here.

The northern part of Fetlar is a RSPB reserve, home to several important breeding species including Arctic Skua
Arctic Skua
The Parasitic Jaeger, also known as the Arctic Skua or Parasitic Skua, is a seabird in the skua family Stercorariidae....

s and Whimbrel
The Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, is a wader in the large family Scolopacidae. It is one of the mostwidespread of the curlews, breeding across much of subarctic North America, Europe and Asia as far south as Scotland....

s. The Lamb Hoga peninsula and nearby Haaf Gruney
Haaf Gruney
Haaf Gruney is a small island in the north east of the Shetland Islands.-Geography and geology:The island is between Unst and Fetlar which are to the north and south respectively. Between it and Yell are a mini-archipelago of small islands including Linga, Sound Gruney, Urie Lingey, Daaey and...

 have some of the largest colonies of Storm Petrel. Of greatest importance though are Red-necked Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope
The Red-necked Phalarope, Phalaropus lobatus, is a small wader. This phalarope breeds in the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. It is migratory, and, unusually for a wader, winters at sea on tropical oceans....

s, for which the Loch of Funzie is the most important breeding site in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and for a while during the 1990s was the only breeding site in the country. A pair of Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl
The Snowy Owl is a large owl of the typical owl family Strigidae. The Snowy Owl was first classified in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, the Swedish naturalist who developed binomial nomenclature to classify and organize plants and animals. The bird is also known in North America as the Arctic Owl, Great...

s famously bred here in the 1960s and early 1970s, they lasted until the 1980s but are no longer present. The island is known as "The Garden of Shetland," due to its highly fertile soil.


A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

 sail daily from Hamars Ness
Hamars Ness
Hamars Ness is a headland on the island of Fetlar in Shetland. The name is from the Old Norse Hamarsnes meaning "craggy headland". A ro-ro ferry is operated from here, which links Fetlar to the Shetland Mainland, and to the island of Unst. Hamars Ness is to the north of Fetlar's main village of...

 on Fetlar to Gutcher
Gutcher is a settlement on the northeast coast of Yell in the Shetland islands. From here, rollon/roll off ferry services to Belmont on Unst and Hamars Ness on Fetlar operate. The settlement has a harbour, and a post office which doubles as a Bed and Breakfast...

 on Yell and Belmont
Belmont, Shetland
Belmont is a settlement and ferry terminal in southern Unst in the Shetland Islands. The ferry crosses from here to Gutcher in Yell and to Hamars Ness in Fetlar....

 on Unst
Unst is one of the North Isles of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles and is the third largest island in Shetland after the Mainland and Yell. It has an area of .Unst is largely grassland, with coastal cliffs...

. A new breakwater and berthing facility is being added at Hamars Ness due for completion late 2011.


Currently there are two nursery pupils at the primary school, situated at Baela near Houbie.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.