The centre began, we suppose you could say as a pipe dream, one that we were under the impression would never happen.
Our Head Keeper, Lisa, has been obsessed with animals since a young age and grew up wanting to be a Zoo Keeper. Against advice from school career advisors who said it was a very difficult industry to get into Lisa attempted it.
She ended up working at a small zoo and studied for an in house degree in the management of zoo animals. After leaving this zoo, six years later, with a former dream in tatters after this did not work out, she set up a small pet care business which worked great but her heart always lay with the more exotic world of animals.
Then several years ago we made the decision to uproot life in a small Lancashire village and up sticks to Orkney in the far north of Scotland where we found the perfect site to set up what was once nothing more than a dream.
Fernvalley is very much a family business.
Lisa is our Head Keeper, who takes care of all our animals and poor mum and dad who bought the entire business have to put up with sharing their premises with all manner of creatures who are always up to no good. Gill manages the tearoom while husband Stef gets all the fun tasks like fixing broken locks and wobbly stones and cleaning stinky terrapin filters. Guess they didn't know what they were getting themselves in for when they said yeah, let's do this!
Fernvalley Wildlife Centre was established in 2017.
We are an animal centre open to the public that specialises in giving a forever home to exotic rescue animals.
Many of our animals were abandoned, abused or neglected and come from difficult backgrounds. We also take in animals from other zoos that need to be rehomed.
The centre is located on the Orkney Islands Mainland in the North of Scotland, making us the most northerly centre of our type.
Fernvalley was formerly Lobster Ponds where lobsters were raised for the food industry. Now the old pools form our planting beds and walkways which will soon be planted with all sorts of rainforest species such as ferns and palms forming a rainforest "walkthrough".
Our centre focuses particularly on vulnerable habitats such as rainforests with many of our animals originating from rainforest environments. We also have a Deserts Section which takes a look at the animals that live in one of the harshest environments in the world.
We have an on-site tearoom so when you've worn yourself out watching and meeting our animals you can pop in for a light snack, homemade cake and a cup of tea..