Fair Isle Bird Observatory destroyed by fire

The well-loved Fair Isle Bird Observatory was destroyed by fire on Sunday.

Firefighters worked through the day on Sunday to bring the blaze under control. As of 9am Monday morning crews were still in the isle “dampening down”, fire control said.

Reports of the fire were received at around midday. Fair Isle’s local crew were joined by firefighters from the Lerwick station who were flown out by helicopter.

A second crew from Lerwick and a crew from Sandwick also joined later in the day.

By Sunday evening the fire had spread throughout the building. A statement on the Fair Isle Bird Observatory website stated that all staff were “OK”.

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott spoke of the “colossal blow” of losing the popular tourist attraction.

He said: “The loss of the bird “ops” in Fair Isle is a colossal blow to the isle and to the many visitors both from Shetland and across the world, who would have plans to visit in the coming months.

“First and foremost it is a great relief that no one was hurt in the fire. The local volunteer fire crew and the teams flown in by helicopter from the Shetland mainland deserve great credit for tackling such a large fire.

“My personal thoughts are with the brilliant staff who run the observatory and have lost all their posessions in today’s fire. Fair Isle has my full support in these difficult days as the impact on the entire island of losing the observatory becomes all too clear.”

President of the observatory, Roy Dennis, tweeted: “Absolutely tragic news – our famous Fair Isle Bird Observatory has been lost to fire. Thank goodness no loss of life but heartfelt sympathy to David, Susannah and family and the islanders. We will rebuild. We have lost much and will lose a year.”

• More in Friday’s Shetland Times


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.