Coastal Walks – Railsborough to Gletness – Walk 60

10th March 2014

A bright chilly day, and I was ready for a nice brisk walk to blow away those cobwebs. A grand start down the boggy field to the shoreside and a lovely walk along the beach. One of the cleanest beaches I have encountered with the bruk all gathered up. Some wonderfully caring crofter who notices their surroundings or cares for the wildlife, contrasted with the mess of a beach further along the walk, at the other side or the ‘Hill of the Taing’. No doubt the prevailing current and wind had a lot to answer for but the croft fields on the other side were an embarrassing mess. In fact this walk became a little depressing with quite a lot of sea borne detritus washed up – mostly plastics. Do we realise what is in the stomaches of our marine mammals? Do we realise the consequences of all those genetically altering chemicals that fish are ingesting? Sadly we do, but do we care? Sadly it seems not, or simply not enough.

Well, not all the walk was depressing, this is a stunning piece of the coast and the islands off the Gletness coast are just beautiful. The coastline is twisty and varied – cliffs one minute and beaches the next. I even decided to hoof it around Glet Ness, a total limestone outcrop – and you could tell by the health of the grass! This is part of the Whiteness division of Dalradian limestones. Always something new! According to a paper by A.R. Prave, R.A. Strachan, and A.E. Fallick, within Shetland’s Dalradian, lie four thick bands of calcite marble; Shetland’s limestones. These (and in particular the Whiteness and Girlsta Limestones) record evidence of the end of episodes of ‘Snowball Earth’ – global scale glaciations during the Neoproterozoic (1000-543 Ma). So there you go!





© Copyright Diane Garrick