Skomer Island, off the coast of West Wales, is a bird sanctuary of world renown, partly due no doubt to the fact that it is completely vermin free When you are on Skomer it is like being in a magical world that is far removed from the everyday trials and tribulations of the world outside.
During the breeding season over 50,000 Puffins, Guillemots and Razorbills, together with over 300,000 Manx Shearwaters – the world’s largest colony – provide a sight and sound that completely takes over one’s senses and sensibilities. An experience not to be forgotten.
Geoffrey Codd’s family owned Skomer over three decades in the first half of the twentieth century. During that period, apart from the WW2 years, they carried out mixed farming of the island, and also encouraged academic research of its flora and fauna and unique wildlife.
In those days, telecommunications with the mainland and services such as the air ambulance did not exist, and one had to be almost completely self-sufficient. It was a very hard, although deeply satisfying, life for Reuben and Betty Codd and their young family, but the challenge to make island life pay its way eventually became too much for one family to bear on their own, and a parting became inevitable.
Since leaving Skomer in 1950, and after five years in the Royal Air Force, Geoffrey followed a career in computing and information technology – a life which could not have been further removed, in every sense, from his early island upbringing.
Over the years he yearned to revisit his beloved island home, and when an opportunity to do so arose in July 2015, he jumped at the chance. There followed a very emotional day which evoked many memories of the joys and challenges of family life on Skomer in those far off days. Hence these ‘recollections’ of that fascinating life.
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