Sumburgh Head

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Sumburgh Head
A webcam installed near Sumburgh Head lighthouse. The cliffs used to be home to large numbers of seabirds. The area is an RSPB nature reserve.

Sumburgh Head is a headland located at the southern tip of the Shetland Mainland in northern Scotland. The head consists of a 100 m high rocky spur and topped by the Sumburgh Head Lighthouse. In the Old Norse language, Sumburgh Head was called Dunrøstar høfdi, it means "The Head onto the loud tide-race", referring to the noise of Sumburgh Roost. Robert Stevenson was the engineer in charge of building the Sumburgh Head lighthouse. Work started on the building in 1819, and the light was first lit in 1821.

Local ecology[edit]

The area is now recognized as a nature reserve by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The cliffs are home to large numbers of seabirds with 33,000 puffins being estimated in the year 2000. These numbers have declined sharply: for example only 570 of the birds were counted in 2017. The decline in Puffin numbers also appears to apply to other species native to Sumburgh Head.[1] In as birds, Sumburgh Head has become a popular viewing point for whales and dolphins.

Nearby locations[edit]

Sumburgh Airport, which takes its name from the head, lies immediately to the north, and serves as the main airport for the Shetland Islands. Flights from here connect to mainland Scotland, the Orkney Islands and Norway. Also close to the Sumburgh Head is the archaeological site of Jarlshof, at which a series of settlements existed dating back to the neolithic period. The tiny settlement of Grutness, which is the terminus of the Shetland Mainland to Fair Isle ferry service, lies one mile (1.5 kilometres) north of Sumburgh Head.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 59°51′15″N 1°16′31″W / 59.85429°N 1.27531°W / 59.85429; -1.27531