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Hermaness is the northernmost headland of Unst, the northernmost inhabited island of Shetland, Scotland. It consists of sea cliffs and moorland.

Hermaness is said to have once been home to a giant named Herman, who, together with another giant, was lured away by a mermaid.[1]

Hermaness National Nature Reserve[edit]

Hermaness is a National Nature Reserve designated in 1955 and is currently managed by Scottish Natural Heritage, although the land remains in the ownership of the Edmondston family of Baltasound, who are still major landowners on Unst. [2] It is of note for its breeding fulmars, gannets, shags, great skuas, puffins and guillemots. [3]

The NNR designation also includes the outlying Muckle Flugga and Out Stack.

Hermaness was home to a black-browed albatross - an extreme rarity in the Northern Hemisphere - every summer from 1972 until 1995 (except 1988 and 1989). This bird, nicknamed 'Albert', proved a major attraction to birdwatchers.[4]


  1. ^ "Hermaness NNR". Scottish Natural Heritage. 1999. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "nature-shetland.co.uk". 
  3. ^ "Scottish Natural Heritage's page on Hermanness NNR". 
  4. ^ Anon (1987) The Black-browed Albatross in Shetland Twitching Vol 1 No 6 Pages 160-162

Coordinates: 60°50′14″N 0°53′0″W / 60.83722°N 0.88333°W / 60.83722; -0.88333