Saturday, 19 May 2012

Skokholm Island bought by Wildlife Trust

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales has raised the money needed to buy the lighthouse on Skokholm Island. The purchase completes the purchase of the whole island, which lies off the Pembrokeshire coast, by the trust that now aims to turn it into a conservation area. The island is home to a number of rare birds including Storm petrels, Manx shearwaters and the Pembrokeshire parrots, or puffins.
The appeal was launched in Autumn 2011 and raised £150,000 within four months, allowing the Wildlfife Trust to buy the land and lighthouse. The trust have now taken over the ownership of lighthouse from Trinity who previously owned the building. They hope it will secure the future of the important area for rare sea bird colonies.
The Wildlife Trust now aims to raise a further £100,000 to convert the lighthouse into accommodation so that visitors can stay on the island, and to install a bird observatory on the island.
With thousands of sea birds, including a significant population of storm petrels and the densest colony of Manx shearwaters in the world, it was of paramount importance that we purchased the last bit of the island's jigsaw. When we were offered the opportunity to buy the last bit of the island we knew we could not risk it going into private ownership for fear of risking the precious cliffs and their stunning wildlife. We were amazed by the generosity of the people of Wales in helping us save this important site.
In July 2010, the Wildlife Trust was contacted by Trinity House, owners of the lighthouse on the island and a significant portion of land around it. Trinity House were in the process of replacing the traditional light with a modern beacon, which needs very little maintenance and therefore allows them to consider selling the lighthouse and land around it.

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