Shetland Heritage Strategy



The Shetland Heritage Strategy is a heritage project aimed at using the diversity of the cultural heritage in the Central Mainland to facilitate and encourage a lasting cultural heritage legacy. The main strands of the heritage strategy comprise:

  • an interactive online map presenting the recorded heritage of the wind farm in an accessible and interesting format
  • the creation of heritage trails with associated information panels within the wind farm, following the completion of construction;
  • and the undertaking of a community excavation project on a selected site in close proximity to the windfarm,  which would include some form of fieldwork including excavation, to allow community involvement in the excavation process



The interactive map, the Shetland: Archaeology Explorer, launched in 2021, using ArcGIS StoryMap and has been updated throughout the project, allowing the addition of fieldwork sites in the windfarm to be virtually visited by local residents as well as the members of the general public from all over the world. The map continues to be updated throughout the project.


In Septemer 2022, Headland Archaeology Partnered with Mind Your Head Shetland to deliver a series of community archaeology workshops as part of their Suicide Prevention Awareness Week.

The aim of these workshops was to undertake some archaeological survey at the proposed community excavation site in South Newing, involving members of the community to explore the impact that interacting with heritage can have on mental health and wellbeing.

The workshops were delivered over three days from the 7 th  to the 9 th  of September and consisted of an introductory talk, community survey fieldwork at the site in South Newing and a data workshop to look at the results and outputs of the surveying.

The introductory talk was delivered at Market House in Lerwick to introduce the project by detailing the work undertaken by Headland Archaeology so far at the windfarm on behalf of SSE and explain the Heritage Strategy and our research and community aims.

There was time throughout the talk for attendees to ask questions and Headland Archaeology’s Community Archaeologist and Technical Services Manager were both in attendance to answer questions as they arose.

The surveying workshop took place the next day, in unfortunately inclement weather. Community participants and staff from both Headland Archaeology and Mind Your Head Shetland braved the weather stoically to learn about archaeological survey techniques and site recording and collect the data needed to improve the understanding of the site.

Advertising for the events were posted locally through local news websites, as posters in local business and through Mind Your Head comms (


In August of 2023 geophysical surveys were undertaken at the proposed excavation site at South Newing, in addition to two sites within the windfarm boundary. As part of this work, further community workshops were held at the South Newing site to give participants an opportunity to learn about and try out the geophysical survey equipment.

The workshops were positively received by the attendees who learned more about some of the non-intrusive techniques which can be used to understand heritage sites and learned more about the prehistoric archaeology of South Newing and the surrounding area. Feedback from the attendees showed that the sessions were able to meet the aims set out at the beginning of the project and provided a positive experience for participants.

Workshops were delivered jointly between our Community Archaeologist and our Geophysics Team. Feedback was collected from participants to support evaluation reporting and open feedback provided a space for general comments. Some responses are included below.

“I really liked learning more about geophysics and the role it plays in the archaeological process. I feel like this knowledge will be very useful going forward to study archaeology at university.”

“Very informative. These guys really know their stuff”

“Good to have the opportunity, bearing in mind all the influences on who paid for a volunteer session and why. Great to hear all your knowledge and experience, thanks!..”


The interpretation boards are in the process of being written and designed for installation once the construction of the windfarm is complete. Below is the first of five boards that will be installed in the windfarm.


The Shetland Heritage Strategy is still in progress with the community excavation to be undertaken in 2024, and the completion of the interpretation boards to be installed once the construction phase has been completed. The interactive map will continue to be updated until the end of the project.