St Helena: the island of endemics

The UK has over 1,500 endemic species, the vast majority of which are found in its Overseas Territories. One such territory is the tiny, isolated island of St Helena, which alone supports more than 500 endemics. The arrival of humans on St Helena has had a devastating impact on its habitats and species, but work

Island restoration in the UK – past, present and future

Not only do the UK’s islands support globally important populations of seabirds, they are also home to species and subspecies found nowhere else in the world. However, islands are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of invasives, and alien species are threatening many of these special wildlife sites. This article describe previous conservation efforts and proposes

The mystery of the Orkney Vole

The Orkney Vole offers a window into 130 years of British natural history and an island mystery that involves ecologists, archaeologists and geneticists. These interdisciplinary endeavours are providing striking insights into the potential pace of evolution and the role of human history in shaping our wildlife today. Here, the authors tell a tale of ecological and

The Grey Seals of Bardsey

The bird life of Bardsey has been well documented, but the island’s significant population of Grey Seals has only comparatively recently started to be explored. It provides an interesting insight into the UK’s overall population. There is a windswept and remote speck of land just off the north coast of Wales that hosts a significant

Shetland Otters revisited

The Shetland Islands are a partially drowned range of hills rising above the flat continental shelf to the north of Scotland (Johnston 1999). They encompass more than 100 islands which include the most northern and isolated places in the British Isles, lying at about the same latitude as the southern part of Greenland. 

Lundy – Britain’s ‘Kingdom of Heaven‘

Once a lair for Barbary pirates and dastardly smugglers, today much of the island on Lundy (430ha) has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and its intertidal and subtidal coast is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), part of England's first Marine Nature Reserve.

Reserve Focus: Ramsey Island, Pembrokeshire

The Pembrokeshire islands were the subject of an article by David Saunders (1993), but this concentrated on the birds and mammals, particularly those on Skomer and Skokholm. 

Classic wildlife sites – St Kilda

You won't find St Kilda on many road maps. Situated 64km west of the Western Isles (Outer Hebrides), the few small islands and sea stacks that make up St Kilda are remote and difficult of access, but for the few visitors who make the considerable effort to get there the St Kilda experience is fantastic. 

Conserving our little Galapagos – Lundy, Lundy Cabbage and its beetles

The small island of Lundy sits in the mouth of the Bristol Channel, about 18km from the Devon mainland. Its flat central plateau is bounded by dramatic slate and granite cliffs. Lundy means ‘Puffin Island’ in Norse, but, sadly, there has been a major decline in Puffin Fratercula arctica numbers, and visitors are much more likely to

The conservation history of the Pembrokeshire islands

The four islands off the west coast of Pembrokeshire have long been renowned for their wildlife. Ramsey (265ha), with its twin hills rising to 136m off St David's Peninsula, and lonely Grassholm (8ha) 17km to the south-west are owned by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Beyond the Marloes Peninsula, southern bastion of

Reserve Focus – Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour

Brownsea Island, in Poole Harbour, is a remarkable place. It lies only a mile or two from the busy tourist and commercial centres of Poole and Bournemouth in Dorset, yet it is a world apart. The island's 202ha (500 acres) contain a wonderful diversity of habitats which in turn support an exceptional range of wildlife.

Reserve Focus – The Farne Islands, Northumberland

The Farne Islands are a group of between 15 and 28 islands (depending on the state of the tide), lying a few miles off the coast of Northumberland. They are one of the most exciting places in Britian for the naturalist. As a place to watch, and walk amongst, breeding seabirds they are probably without

Classic Wildlife Sites – The Pembrokeshire Islands

The five islands off the west coast of Pembrokeshire – Grassholm 9ha (22 acres), Middleholm 9ha (22 acres), Ramsey 17ha (685 acres), Skokholm 106ha (263 acres) and Skomer 316ha (781 acres) – are of national and international importance for their seabirds. In addition to this, they are of considerable botanical interest, support the largest Grey

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