Friday, 24 February 2012

Skokholm and Skomer

Just a quick report on the annual get-together of the Friends of these two Pembrokeshire islands; around 100 enthusiasts gathered (near Stroud) last Sunday to hear presentations by the Warden of Skomer (Chris Taylor) and others.
Puffin by Mike Alexander
Both islands are managed by the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales; Skomer belongs to CCW and is leased to the Trust, while Skokholm is now owned by the Trust. Skomer more or less reaches capacity for day visitors (250-300) when the Puffins are there (May - July), and the price to stay overnight comes down after that!

The great news about Skokholm is that the full refurbishment of the visitor accommodation is now well underway; in the meantime the island is fully open for stays of 3, 4 or 7 days.  All the work on the accommodation was costed at £1,000,000 if done commercially; in fact most of the work is being done by volunteers (working with 'proper' builders) which has brought the cost down by 90%. All work on the island being organised by Steve Sutcliffe, with lots of costly services being provided for free (including shipping all the materials from Martinshaven). Have a look at, all the details for visiting and staying on both islands are there.

We were very excited to hear about plans to reopen the Bird Observatory on Skokholm - Ronald Lockley set it up in 1933 but it had to close in 1976 when the landowner at that time decided to ban ringing of birds there. The plan is to build Heligoland traps which visiting ringers will use to catch migrants. We'll keep you informed in Natur Cymru about how this all progresses.

Finally - geolocating devices fitted to Puffins on Skomer have begun to reveal their wintering grounds - Iceland, south of Greenland, even into the Mediterranean.

Kate and I have never visited Skokholm but now are raring to go! There's still time to enter the Inspired by Nature writing competition and win 3rd prize which is an overnight trip for two to Skomer.

1 comment:

  1. Five people at the annual get together decided to become subscribers to Natur Cymru - welcome, and many thanks to Kate and Geoff.