Alistair Rennie of SNH has investigated carefully the 19th century reports of a submerged forest at Otterswick. Using a JCB on the shore during one of the lowest tides on the year, Alistair has been able to re-expose the peat from beneath around 1 m of shell sand. The peat contained lumps of wood identified as Salix, remnants of stands of willow that grew to around 3 m high. The wood has been radiocarbon dated to 6500 BP and may well predate human occupation of the area. Since the demise of the woodland, sea level has risen by around 3 m. The site emphasises the threat of future sea level rises to this low-lying island.