Shetland's Finest Ever Home Pages!
Guest Book before you leave.
You are visitor number: And we are very pleased to welcome you to these humble pages! The counter is installed courtesy of Geocities, the people who also supply this free web space.
Houll is the name of the house where we live. I'm John Coutts and she's Jane Mack and there's also Temmy who is 13, and a little boy named Frankie who is about two and a half years old. (we won't mention the cat...)
Houll, (pronounced Hool), is a very common place name in Shetland in the far north of the UK. It comes from Old Norse and simply means "hill". This Houll, a renovated old croft house, is situated on top of a low hill on the east side of Fetlar, the fourth largest island of the Shetland Isles, and the nearest neighbouring house is about a mile away which makes it a wonderfully peaceful place to live - no traffic, no neighbour's dog barking, just peace.
Fetlar is well known for its rich birdlife. Last year, there were over 30 breeding pairs of Red-necked Phalaropes that nested on Fetlar. That's almost 100% of the UK population! And they all nested within a few minutes walk from Houll.
We also have very healthy populations of other birds. About 15% of the UKs Whimbrel think Fetlar's a great place to live, and the Arctic Terns keep coming back each summer. There's Storm Petrels by the dozen, Puffins by the hundreds and Great Skuas by the thousand, or quite a lot at least. We used to have Snowy Owls breeding here in Fetlar. In fact, when they first bred here in 1967 it was the very first time Snowy Owls had bred in the UK. Between then and 1975 they turned out 20 youngsters, but unfortunately, due to old age and natural decimation, there are no owls on the island today.
The wildlife in Fetlar is also rich and varied. We have a healthy population of otters who live mainly around the shores. Although they are often difficult to spot, the determined visitor is usually rewarded with a sighting. We have two types of seals living around Fetlar - grey seals and common seals. Both are easy to spot at almost any time. Sometimes we are lucky to see whales, porpoise or dolphins near the shores. They are most commonly seen in the summer months.
About 100 people live in Fetlar. That's quite a low population compared to other communities in Shetland, but population figures are actually rising in Fetlar at the moment so there's hope for the future.
This page was created by John Coutts.
Photos by Jane Mack and John Coutts.
Best viewed with Netscape Navigator 3.0 and above, and a minimum of 256 colours. These pages are optimised for a screen width of 640 pixels.