Fair Isle midway between Shetland and Orkney but part of the former, achieved international fame many years ago from the intricate and colourful knitting patterns of the womenfolk using their homespun and home-dyed wool, but this has now been somewhat eclipsed by the original work done there on migrating birds and its Bird Observatory is familiar to ornithologists all over the world. In 1948 Mr George Waterston established the Bird Observatory in an ex-Naval camp, the National Trust for Scotland acquired the island in 1954, and a new building was erected with its assistance and opened in 1969.
- Fair Isle Postcode ZE2
- Fair Isle Geolocation Latitude 59.5339° N Longitude -1.6333° W
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- Fair Isle Reviews
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- Fair Isle Tracks & Routes
Fair lsle appears to be a staging-post for migrating birds, and more than 300 species have beer observed, while it has its own breeding colonies of great and Arctic skuas, storm petrels fulmars and many others. But, in addition to providing bird- watching facilities. the National Trust embarked on a scheme to arrest depopulation, in 1939 then; there were more than l00 people on the island but the number fell steadily until there were fewer than ﬁfty, but this has now risen.
The Trust encouraged and helped to finance improvements in housing, the installation of water supplies and electricity, telecom links, an improved pier and other amenities. At Sumburgh, The National Trust has a resident representative on the island, and there is limited accommodation at the Bird Observatory hostel.
The island covers less than 6 sq. miles It has been called the most isolated inhabited island in Britain, but it is quite a busy place, with its crofting, lobster-ﬁshing, knitting and weaving and it has a great name for hospitality.