Shetland - Northmavine Community Website
Northmavine Community Development Company (NCDC) is a registered charity in Scotland - Charity No SC039396 logo

Green Award for Polycrubs



Following community consultation back in 2008, NCDC identified a strong desire in the community for home-grown produce.

This led to the development of the Northmavine Community Polytunnel project as part of a Powerdown project to save carbon and money.  The Powerdown officer identified the most suitable structure for the Shetland climate.
After a successful funding application to the Climate Challenge Fund, 12 community polytunnels were built in Northmavine.  'Hosts' share the spare with 4 - 5 neighbours and almost 60 people are now growing food locally, many for the first time.

  • The recycling of materials in the design of the stuctures means that around 2km of redundant salmon cage pipe has been diverted from landfill.
  • The community polytunnels have created a new network in Northmavine, with an exchange of knowledge, seeds etc between and within polytunnels.
  • The project has created great interest within the local community, throughout Shetland and nationally.

The polytunnel has proved so popular that the NCDC has rebranded it as the 'polycrub' and has patent pending on the design.  They have set up a trading subsidiary of the NCDC which sells the polycrub as part of its' core business.


Colin Dickie, Emily Robertson, Maree Hay and Peter Sinclair accept the Shetland Environmental Award on behalf of the NCDC and the Northmavine Community Polytunnel project.                                                                                                         Photo by Austin Taylor

The project and the 'polycrub' design has recently won a Shetland Environmental Award.  The judging panel comments were:

'A good practical project with some creative solutions to Shetland's food issues and recycling of redundant salmon cages.  The community focus resulted in a project which far surpassed what was anticipated and is now entering a new phase which will make it a long term sustainable social enterprise'