Some people will tell you there are no trees on Shetland, but take yourself to Michaelswood near Aith and you will soon realise this is not true. Stroll among the young and vibrant woodland, with at least 60 different tree species over 12 acres and you realise that trees can grow this far north. This woodland was planted in memory of Michael Ferrie, a young musician from Aith, who died in 1996 from cancer when he was just 21 years old. The woodland has interesting trails and intriguing features for all ages, including a Teddy Bear’s Picnic site, a library and sun room and Daisy the cow overlooking the Loch of Vaara and the rocky outcrop of Gurwil.
I loved exploring this woodland that is packed with love and beauty. At the top of the wood I found this bench to Tommy Tait, facing Daisy the cow and I enjoyed the view that Tommy Tait had chosen. I don’t know how many people decide where their memorial bench is going to sit but I certainly appreciated knowing that Tommy Tait had been involved in the decision about the location of his memorial bench.
Tommy Tait This bench is dedicated to the memory of Tommy who was born on this croft and who died on 10th February 2016. He personally chose this site for a bench and often sat here to enjoy the view of Gurwil and the Loch of Vaara.
Being in Michaelswood was a magical experience. I ducked under branches, spotted woodland flowers in the shelter of the trees, read the quotes on the philosophers trail and disturbed a hedgehog trundling along one of the paths among the newer trees.
Lower down in the wood was another memorial bench with the following dedication:
In Loving Memory of John Johnston 1913 – 1995 formerly of Ayres, Aith [&] Williamina Johnston (Nee Hay) 1910 – 2006 formerly of South Gardie, Aith