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By Neil RiddellAugust 5th 2022

A film showcasing Shetland’s spectacular wildlife and winter scenery has been shortlisted in the UK-wide Travel Media Awards.

The three-minute feature, entitled ‘Shetland: Winter in the wildest corner of Britain’, was filmed by Promote Shetland and presented by travel writer and journalist Simon Parker.

It was featured in The Telegraph in January, with the footage shot by regular Promote Shetland contributor Stephen Mercer and drone camera pilot Nick McCaffrey.

The film makes the five-strong shortlist for the Travel Media Awards’ broadcast programme of the year category, alongside a BBC production about a herd of reindeer and a Channel 4 feature on the lost treasure tombs of the ancient Maya.

Widely recognised as the premier awards event of its kind, the nationwide Travel Media Awards ceremony will take place at The Dorchester in London on 26 September.

Parker said he took the decision to travel to Shetland during the winter towards the end of two years of mostly being stuck at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it “genuinely makes me feel alive rather than just simply surviving”.

“It’s a place where you’re only ever a few metres from nature,” he said, recounting his experience of being surrounded by birdlife and seals as well as a memorable encounter with some sea otters in their natural habitat.

Parker said the visit had allowed him to enjoy the raw energy of the winter weather and to marvel at Shetland’s unfiltered beauty.

He added: “The weather in Shetland, from my experience, is only ever dramatic. Some of the waves that crash into the west coast of Shetland, especially, haven’t hit land for three or four thousand miles.

“I’ve seen so many storms up here over the years, and in the next moment the sky will clear and there will just be this beautiful golden light that washes over the landscape.”

Promote Shetland head of content Adam Civico paid tribute to Parker’s film and said the nomination was testimony to the team’s hard work.

“The Simon Parker film beautifully captures the essence of what it is to visit Shetland in the winter and his enthusiasm for the place is evident,” he said.

“The film is an example of the excellent work that Stephen Mercer regularly creates on behalf of the Promote Shetland service.

“On this occasion, with the support of drone pilot Nick McCaffrey, the stunning footage clearly demonstrates why Shetland is a spectacular location – whatever the season.”