Bird observatory building work comes to a halt amid contractor troubles

Fair Isle Bird Observatory will not be reopening this year due to troubles with the building work, trustees have confirmed.

Fibo announced today (Monday) that work on the site had come to a halt after the contractors lodged a notice to appoint an administrator.

“This is particularly frustrating given we now have a wind and watertight building and were in the process of completing the internals which were scheduled to finish this autumn,” it said.

Fair Isle Bird Observatory work in progress in summer 2023. Photo: Alex Penn.
Fair Isle Bird Observatory work in progress in summer 2023. Photo: Alex Penn.

“Before we are able to continue, there are a number of legal, financial and practical issues that will have to be attended to.

“This means that unfortunately we will not be reopening this year.”

The project has already had to overcome numerous challenges since a fire destroyed the former observatory in 2019.

First it managed to raise substantial funds through a celebrity-endorsed crowdfunding campaign.

Then it had to revise its plans after struggling to find a contractor able to deliver the project.

Once the contractor was appointed, they had to negotiate the treacherous seas around Fair Isle to deliver the modules of the prefabricated building by barge.

After overcoming a number of weather-related delays, the final modules arrived on site last summer.


Add Your Comment
  • Mr ian Tinkler

    • March 19th, 2024 6:56

    Not to worry folks. With the amount of offshore and onshore wind farm projects for on and around Shetland and the North Sea, there probably will be no birds left to observe by the time this is built and opened. I hope the sprinkler system has been installed!!!!!


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