In light of the Covid-19 lockdown announced on 23rd March 2020, The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales had to close Skomer Island to overnight and day visitors.
Skomer was due to open to visitors at the beginning of April. The shut down will be will be reviewed regularly but this came at our busiest time of year, just as Puffins and other seabirds began returning to the Islands to breed.
This is clearly an unprecedented time for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. This loss of income for one year will have a catastrophic impact on our ability to manage and monitor our wildlife.
During the summer season on Skomer we can expect to see millions of seabirds arrive to breed and raise their young. This April, 35,000 Puffins have already been counted around the island, bucking the international trend for this much loved but threatened species.
Over 350,000 pairs of Manx Shearwaters breed underground in burrows, where each pair raises a single chick, travelling thousands of miles across our seas to find food for their young. As well as seabirds, Short-eared Owls also breed on Skomer, the last breeding Curlew in Pembrokeshire are found on the island and come autumn, hundreds of Grey Seals pup in the safety of the island’s beaches and caves.
Live footage from Skomer IslandPlease donate now
Breeding Season and Monitoring
- We desperately want to ensure that our staff can remain on Skomer during the breeding season. Our staff protect the seabirds by ensuring that no-one disturbs the birds.
- They ensure that no predators come across to the Islands, such as rats, which would decimate the seabird populations. Our staff undertake critical monitoring of our seabirds and seals, as part of long term datasets which are so crucial to long term conservation and advocacy efforts for their protection.
- By keeping our staff on the Islands we can share wildlife highlights with you via social media, to lift your spirits during this difficult time and help you stay connected to the Islands.
- Staff also carry out essential buildings maintenance and the impact of Covid-19 will mean that it is now harder for us to raise the necessary funds and carry out urgent repairs and improvements to buildings and infrastructure.
- This work is a necessary investment to ensure that future visitor experience is not compromised.
We really do hope that we will be in a position to ensure that Skomer opens to the public later this year as soon as government guidance allows and that we can return to normal in future years. However, we need your help to keep up with our vital Islands work in the meantime.
Please donate to our Skomer Island appeal… We need your support now more than ever!