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Keen of Hamar nature reserve


It may look like a moonscape, but the bare stony scree of this reserve supports a unique collection of plants. They are specially adapted to survive on the rare serpentine rock found on Unst, the most northerly island in Britain. Star attraction is Edmondston's chickweed, which is found nowhere else in the world outside Unst. Several more common plants show peculiar serpentine growth forms.

The reserve is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest external site and a Special Area of Conservation external site .

Best time to visit

Mid-May to early-July for wildflowers

Getting there

Signposted from the A968 to the car park at the minor road end, with a 200 metre walk to the reserve. Daily bus service operates between Lerwick and Baltasound but it would a very rushed visit to do the return journey in a day.


Small car park. Easy walking ground.

Contact details

Keen of Hamar nature reserve is owned and managed by Scottish Natural Heritage.

Scottish Natural Heritage, 
Ground Floor, Stewart Building,
Alexandra Wharf,
Tel: 01595 693345

Last updated on Friday 8th January 2016 at 14:17 PM. Click here to comment on this page