Published onDecember 2 2019
Instructor Doug Price of Outlook Training Limited recently visited the Shetland Islands to hold a pesticide training course for the remote crofters and shared his experience with us.
A chance meeting with Steven of ST Malcolmson Engineers lead to an interesting opportunity to provide training on Shetland, as I quickly discovered that Steven resulted to travelling to the mainland in order to gain qualifications he couldn’t access on the islands. After discussing his predicament, we both realised we could provide a solution to an island problem.
Travel to Shetland requires a bit of effort, with either a couple of flights, or a flight and an overnight ferry, needing to be taken to reach the island. But on arrival, the welcome is bright and real, and the island is beautiful, rural and has loads of history.
Historically it has proven difficult for the island to engage with instructor/assessors, possibly due to its remoteness, resulting in local farmers struggling to keep up with legislation to apply pesticide.
An inaugural trip to Shetland to deliver safe use, hand-held and boom sprayer training and assessments was made in October 2019. The Lantra system enabled me to undertake training and examination, which was both time and cost efficient for the Crofters.
The welcome was profuse, the crofters by nature of their remoteness need to be able to Multi-task and many run two jobs consecutively. This is not just a way of life, but a way to survive the harsh weather conditions of the islands. Their enthusiasm during the training was refreshing and their hospitality was second to none.
The islanders are unique in their willingness to adapt, to perform and to succeed. The way of life in Shetland is different to mainland UK, yet they have the best internet I have experienced and surprisingly despite the closeness to North Sea Gas – they have none, heating is oil fuelled.
The people I met are truly friendly, flexible and hardworking, able to adapt to what is needed, without complaint and truly grateful and rightly proud of their island. Another visit is imminent and I cant wait….