When Rosanne Alexander’s boyfriend Mike was offered the job of warden of Skomer, a small uninhabited island off the south west tip of Wales, they had just ten days to leave college, marry (a condition of employment) and gather their belongings and provisions for the trip to the island. This was the first of many challenges Rosanne and Mike faced during their ten years on the nature reserve, from coping with periods of isolation when they were the island’s only inhabitants, to dwindling food supplies during the winter when rough weather made provisioning from the mainland impossible. Thrown on their own resources they had also to deal with catastrophes like the devastation of the island’s seal colony following an oil spill.
With great sensitivity, and humour, Rosanne Alexander relates their experiences on Skomer, including her observations of the island’s wildlife and landscape. It is an important breeding ground for many birds, and shearwaters, puffins and kittiwakes – and the seals – become a source of pleasure and companionship. With her lyrical evocation of the natural world and its enthusiastic and resourceful approach to the problems of island life, Alexander’s book will inspire and entertains anyone who has felt the need for escape.
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