Hermaness already ranked among the most inspirational and emotionally affecting places where Kate has encountered wildlife: no small praise from a woman whose TV career has covered great swathes of the African and Asian continents.
“The first time I saw the gannet colony at Hermaness it brought me to tears, because it is just so spectacular,” she says. “You never forget. I saw four white-tailed eagles all at once, being mobbed by bonxies, at Hermaness as well.”
Her 2023 trip saw Kate recording interviews with a host of nature, wildlife and heritage specialists ranging from Douglas Coutts, the man who found the St Ninian’s Isle treasure as a schoolboy back in 1958, to Jane Macaulay, an Unst community stalwart who co-runs the Wild Skies tour company and whose son Bobby was the first to decorate Unst’s now famous bus shelter.
Kate was also enthused by learning and speaking to those in Shetland’s South Mainland about how fertile land and working crofts and farms nestle alongside ancient geology and some of Europe’s best-preserved Iron Age archaeology.