Ferne Animal Sanctuary in Dorset is a registered charity that rescues and re-homes animals within the local area. It was established 75 years ago by the Duchess of Hamilton & Brandon, who wanted to provide a temporary refuge for animals belonging to servicemen and women shipped abroad during World War II.
The charity relies on fundraising through grants and donations, and in 2016 Morgan Sindall was appointed to construct a new visitor centre, shop, cat isolation unit and barn.
The initial welcoming point, the visitors’ centre consists of two buildings with an adjoining decking area, with the roof spanning all areas. Similarly to the shop, the building uses external green cedral cladding in keeping with the site’s rural surroundings.
After exiting the centre, visitors are taken to a new garden area, including new pathways, ponds and railings ensuring accessibility for pushchairs and wheelchairs, before continuing to the grounds and attractions of the sanctuary.
The cat isolation unit features six homing units and runs for unwell cats waiting to be rehomed. The units have shelf-like beds with ramp access for the animals, plus heaters and cameras installed in each unit so the staff can maintain a comfortable temperature for the animals and closely monitor them.
Improving the environment
It was important that the building was sympathetic to its rural surroundings. Therefore, use of green, cedral cladding was used externally to complement the site’s setting.