This is agritourism at its best! David and Isla welcome visitors to the land that they call home for an up-close and personal look at Shetland’s thriving rural life and traditions, against the stunning scenic background of North Roe.
Shetland Rural Experience Centre is located in the North mainland, in the beautiful area of North Roe. David Murray and Isla Sutherland welcome you to their croft, where they will invite you to experience rural Shetland life up-close and personal.
David and Isla are both experienced boarder collie sheepdog trainiers and handlers. On their working farm, they rear Shetland sheep, Shetland Ponies and train working dogs. They are both well known figures on the competitive Sheepdog trial circuit locally, and David has competed successfully in national and international events throughout Europe.
They will show you how the dogs are trained, and explain the deep bond that the art creates between the handler and their dogs. You will be able to see a live demonstration of this traditional craft and gain an insight into the great knowledge and expertise that go into training these highly intelligent dogs. You will even learn how to use a dog whistle yourself!
Learn more about Shetland's two main heritage livestock breeds: Shetland Ponies and Shetland Sheep. See them up close in their natural habitat.
This is a fascinating outing for the whole family and can be tailored to your needs. Make a day of it and head out on one of Shetland's most iconic walks at Fethaland. The land you walk across is part of David and Isla's farm, and the walk covers breathtaking scenery, fascinating geology, archeological sites and the area's more recent history as a thriving fishing station as well! Depending on the season you will find great opportunities for birdwatching, botanical delights and maybe even the chance to spot and otter or an orca or two!!
If you have limited time, bespoke packages for groups can also be arranged at a partner farm in Girlsta in the central mainland. Here you will also be able learn more about the traditional craft of hand-casting peat, which is still used to heat the homes of many Shetlanders today. David is also part of the Peatland Restoration Project, working hard to restore the damage done to large areas Shetland's peatland by erosion and overgrazing in years gone by. See and understand the delicate balance between custodianship of our natural environment and man's need to survive in this remore and dramatic landscape.
Contact David and Isla directly for details of upcoming availability or to organise a bespoke experience.