|Skokholm photo by Sid Howells|
Skokholm Island, off the coast of Pembrokeshire, is home to internationally important wildlife populations, and is particularly well known for its seabirds. It was the first Bird Observatory in Britain, but lost its Observatory status in 1976. The island was bought by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales in 2007, by which time the buildings and ‘birding’ infrastructure were in complete disrepair and non-functional. Thanks to the Friends this is no longer the case. The work took four years to complete and almost 20,000 hours of voluntary labour.
The Friends are incredibly important to the islands of Skomer and Skokholm and since 1981 the membership has grown to over 400. Members help finance essential work through their subscriptions, but more importantly, many have taken part in voluntary work parties to help bring Skokholm back to its former glory and its return to official Bird Observatory status in 2014. Some of The Friends often act as voluntary wardens on both Skomer and Skokholm, helping with practical maintenance tasks, wildlife recording and research studies and are currently engaged in digitising the daily bird logbooks which date back to 1933. Well done all you hard workers!