Fernvalley Wildlife Centre opened in August 2017.

We are located on mainland Orkney off the coast of the North of Scotland, making us the most northerly centre of our type.

The centre specialises in offering a safe and loving home to animals that have been abused, abandoned or neglected.

We work in collaboration with organisations such as the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA), RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), and Reptilia rescue, to rehome these animals which have come from difficult backgrounds. We also take in surplus animals that are looking for new homes from zoos and other wildlife centres.

The building itself was formerly lobster ponds where lobsters were raised for the food industry. Now the old pools form our planting beds and walkways forming a rainforest "walkthrough" planted with all sorts of rainforest species such as ferns and palms. Our banana tree has grown so tall it is trying to escape through the roof!

We have daily talks and animal encounters so you can get up close and personal with some of our residents. There are also displays on the history of the centre, as well as educational exhibits on environmental and ecological issues such as deforestation, recycling, and conservation. We also have numerous exhibits and play stations providing a little more information about how we look after the health and wellbeing of the animals, and work with Orkney Natural Heritage towards the conservation of our local Orkney Vole population. 


Fernvalley is very much a family business. Although Lisa is currently in New Zealand, her dream has grown. Head keeper, Gill, manages a team of enthusiastic animal keepers, volunteers and tearoom staff. Stef looks after the grounds and maintains the centre, building enclosures, and helping out wherever he can - you've probably seen him around toon in the Fernvalley car getting emergency supplies for the tearoom - he's also a dab hand at washing pots!

Peak opening:


Thursday to Monday

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The idea for Fernvalley was developed by Lisa Farrer. Her appreciation for animals and the natural world led Lisa into the zoo industry, working at various zoos and wildlife centres in Lancashire and Cumbria.

Looking for an opportunity to establish her own animal business, she went on to form Companions Pet Care, taking care of pets in the Lancaster area. However, her heart lay with the more exotic world of animals.

When some of her family relocated to Orkney she realised the potential value a wildlife centre could offer to the community. She worked together with mum; Gill, and dad; Stef, and found the perfect site to set up Fernvalley Wildlife Centre.