Kergord Forest

(Kergord Woods)

Proudly described by Shetlanders as their largest tract of woodland and the only 'forest' on the Shetland islands, Kergord Forest is in reality a few small patches of mixed woodland in Weisdale, a mile (1.5 km) north of the head of Weisdale Voe. Dr. George Munro, owner of the Kergord Estate, planted 3.6 ha (9 acres) of woodland between 1913 and 1920 to serve as shelter belts. The principal species were Sitka spruce and Japanese larch, with lesser numbers of Silver fir, sycamore, rowan, birch and others. The plantations were mixed with alternating rows of different types of tree. Despite the relatively sheltered nature of the valley, with its fertile soils, the cold winters and particularly the gales provided challenges with many trees being lost. Parts of the woodland has been harvested for timber. Kergord is of interest to ornithologists, as it has become home to woodland birds and also retains species usually regarded as passage migrants in Shetland.

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