Fair Isle Bird Observatory

Bookings and rebuild update

Rebuild Update

With the completion of the roof and cladding we have reached a significant milestone in the rebuilding of the Observatory whereby the building is now wind and watertight. This was our target for this year, so we are extremely pleased to have accomplished this.

The new Observatory is now wind and watertight, December 2023. © IDMH

We have now started on the next stage which will be undertaken in three phases which will allow for the completion of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing works together with the interiors.

As we have indicated previously although this work is internal, and won’t be at the same amount of risk of weather related delays, there is still a considerable amount to be undertaken. A lot of this work is sequential and will necessitate a number of different trades coming at staggered times. This will take a number of months before we are able to move onto the further final phase of fitting the Observatory out with furniture and plenishings.

Having reached this stage in the project, we can now look forward to completing the full rebuild of the Observatory late next year.

The new Observatory from the east, December 2023. © IDMH
The new Observatory looking down from the road to North Light, December 2023. © IDMH
The new Observatory with staff accomodation from the south, December 2023. © IDMH


Although we are making good progress with the rebuild of the Observatory, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done to complete the interiors.

At this juncture, we are currently unable to say what date we will reopen on and therefore are not taking any bookings. Once we have a confirmed reopening date, we will open for bookings and notification of this will be announced on the website.

Friends of Fair Isle members will receive advance notification of this date.

Permanent staff

Concerning the recruitment of new permanent staff, we will notify in advance those who have already expressed an interest of when the recruitment process will commence and then post notification of this on our website.

Douglas Barr, FIBOT Chairman, 16th December 2023