Appeal success for Skomer Island

'Valery' generously donated by Valero

‘Valery’ generously donated by Valero

On August 5th, staff on The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales’ Skomer Island were delighted to take delivery of two new vehicles, a dumper and a sit-in ATV, following a major appeal to replace their dilapidated and aptly named old tractor, ‘Trundle’. Trundle had done many years of service on the island but was becoming increasingly unreliable, making day to day work on the island very challenging. However it was clear that a substantial fundraising effort would be necessary to fund a replacement.

When the Friends of Skokholm and Skomer decided in February this year to launch an appeal, they knew it was a huge undertaking. Their committee members have not just coordinated the appeal, but have researched and sourced suitable vehicles. Over 137 individual donations were received from visitors and other Island supporters, as well as members of the Friends and The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

Local poet Peter Brown wrote a delightful book of poetry sponsored by Signspeed, Cresselly and The Darwin Centre, from which all proceeds were kindly donated to the tractor appeal.

The Friends of Skokholm and Skomer and the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales are really delighted with this amazing fundraising achievement and the benefits it will bring to their conservation work on Skomer.

Jonathan Parsons, Chair of the Friends of Skokholm and Skomer said:

 "I am so proud of what our members and the committee have achieved by working together and donating money and time to make this happen. Without doubt this voluntary effort encouraged the generous major donations from The Port of Milford Haven and Valero, without whom we would not have reached the target so quickly. To them I am extremely thankful."

Sarah Kessell, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, said:

 “We are really excited about the two new vehicles on Skomer and what they will help us to achieve. We are incredibly grateful to all the individuals, groups and companies who made donations. Having reliable vehicles makes the world of difference to our staff, volunteers and visitors. They will allow us to move luggage and materials and launch the boat that makes our seabird monitoring possible. The ATV has already been named ‘Valery’ in recognition of Valero’s invaluable support”.

Stephen Thornton, Valero Refinery Public Affairs Manager, said:

“Pembrokeshire’s beautiful coastline is important to locals, tourists, wildlife and industry, so we were thrilled to be able to support vital ongoing conservation work on Skomer by donating this new vehicle.”

The success of the appeal shows the enthusiasm and generosity of the Friends group and island lovers, and demonstrates just some of the ongoing support they give to the work on Skokholm and Skomer.

You can support the vital conservation work on Skomer and Skokholm Island by joining as a Wildlife Trust member, volunteering or fundraising. The Friends of Skokholm and Skomer are also keen for new members to support their work.

For more information visit The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales website: www.welshwildlife.org

Skomer Visitor Officer Sarah Parmor carries visitors’ luggage in the new dumper