Skomer Island

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Stay Overnight

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Day Visit

Skomers wildlife

Wildlife

Events on Skomer

Events on Skomer

Located less than a mile off the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast, Skomer is truly a wonderful place to visit for the day or stay overnight.

The wildlife of Skomer and Skokholm is unique and incredibly special, but also very vulnerable.

For this reason we ask all visitors to adhere to our biosecurity rules. Small steps taken by you, during your visit, will help us all to protect Skomer and Skokholm for the future.

 

Welcome to Skomer Island!
Boat Twitter Feed
Courses
Bio-Security

The ultimate wildlife adventure awaits…

Whether you looking for an island adventure, a wildlife haven or relaxing getaway then Skomer is the island for you…

Located less than a mile off the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast, Skomer is truly a wonderful place to visit for the day or stay overnight.

Well known for its Puffins, yet there is so much more to the bird paradise including Manx Shearwaters, Dolphins, Harbour Porpoises, Atlantic Grey Seal, Razorbills, Gannets, Fulmars and the unique Skomer Vole. The island is surrounded by some of the richest waters for wildlife off the British Isles from delightfully coloured sea slugs to magnificent cetaceans.

During spring the island is covered in a display of beautiful bluebells so vast that the whole island appears blue! The old fields, the valleys, the cliff tops. No part of the island is spared from this bluebell explosion.  A shade of pink is added to the island’s colour during the summer as swathes of Campion cloak the landscape.

To gain an insight into the world and work of Skomer’s wardens, please read their blog on the trials and tribulations of being an island warden. You can also download some Frequently Asked Questions about Skomer (440 kb).

Check out our exciting Skomer Events page to see what you could experience on this special island.

By becoming a member of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales you will be supporting our work on the island and you will be helping us with our work on our many other sites across south and west Wales. Please join us now and get free landing on Skomer.*

*As a member you will receive unlimited free landing at the fantastic Skomer Island during April, August and September and a total of 2 free landings between May and July.* 

To find out if the boats are going you can check out our Twitter feed or you can call 01646 636800 in the afternoon only.

Boats depart for Skomer: Tuesday to Sunday at 10am, 11am and 12 noon. Return trips run from 3pm and are allocated according to your outward journey. Boat times are subject to change and additional crossings may be scheduled during peak periods. No sailings on a Monday except Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday (Tues-Sun times apply).

Please note, from September there will be one visitor boat at 11am only. Return boats will be from 3pm. 

Lockley Lodge will be closed from September, therefore all tickets will need to be purchased on the island. Payment will need to be made in cash only.

For daily updates visit: @skomer_boatinfo on Twitter, or click the next tab to follow feed.

The numbers of visitors to the island is carefully managed to prevent erosion and to control the impact of people on the wildlife. Landing tickets are strictly limited to a maximum of 250 per day.

Pre-booking of tickets is not permitted so to avoid disappointment it is recommended you arrive as early as you can to queue for tickets. Tickets are offered on a first come first served basis, and during peak times can sell out within the first hour/hours of Lockley Lodge opening.

Day trips to Skomer are oversubscribed during the peak season (May to Mid-July) and some people will not get onto the island. On the busiest days extra guided island cruises are operated and visitors have the option to see the island and the wildlife from the boat. Click here to find out more about the island cruises.

The Friends of the Islands help support work on both of our islands, find out more by visiting their blog.

Events on Skomer Island

see full list of events on Skomer Island

Date/Time Event
14/09/2019 - 17/09/2019
12:00 am
Group photo of happy birdwatchers Birdwatching: Autumn Migration Special
Skomer Island, Haverfordwest

Please be aware we have a Code of Conduct around seabirds and seals on this stunning island – to keep all our wildlife safe we ask you read this before visiting the island so that our precious seabirds and seals are protected.

Please note that we only allow registered operators to run courses on Skomer Island, please check out our list of current registered operators, if you wish to become a registered operator please contact us through this page.


Skomer is a fantastic destination for birdwatching and it regularly turns up some locally uncommon, scarce and rare birds. We run regular guided bird walks and guided weekend migration trips in conjunction with Dave Astins from West Coast Birdwatching, the details of which can be found on our events page.

Dave is a renowned guide within Pembrokeshire and has been birdwatching here for over 26 years.

There have been many highlights from Dave’s guided walks on Skomer but the main one that sticks out for him was the sighting of three Golden Orioles on 11th May 2015, only the second time he has seen them in Pembrokeshire!

Skomer Guillemot by Dave Boyle

Skomer Guillemot by Dave Boyle

The wildlife of Skomer and Skokholm is unique and incredibly special, but also very vulnerable. For this reason we ask all visitors to adhere to our biosecurity rules. Small steps taken by you, during your visit, will help us all to protect Skomer and Skokholm for the future.

Skomer and Skokholm Biosecurity

The islands of Skomer and Skokholm are home to breeding populations of seabirds of both national and international importance. There are no significant ground predators (such as large mammalian predators or snakes) on the islands.

Their continued absence is key to the future conservation of our seabirds and other ground-nesting birds.

The introduction of new species such as rats, or even other, smaller rodents, poses the greatest current, and acute, risk to our islands. Islands such as neighbouring Ramsey, where rats arrived via shipwrecks, are testament to the damage that can be caused; significant increases in breeding seabird species are only being recorded there after costly and time-consuming rat eradication in relatively recent history.

It is also important to note that whilst mammal introductions present a significant threat, other introductions such as of new plant species also have the potential to massively impact the island’s ecology (potentially including the seabird populations).

Brown-Rat-by-Gillian-Day

Brown Rat by Gillian Day

Whilst the accidental introduction of rats or mice may feel unlikely, the consequences could be devastating. For this reason it is essential that we maintain strict biosecurity and quarantine for all people and luggage travelling to Skomer and Skokholm.

Adopting some quick and easy safeguards could make all the difference. These apply to both day visitors and overnight visitors to both islands.

(1) Pack all luggage yourselves

(2) Pack all luggage in a rodent-free environment (e.g. avoid garages, sheds)

(3) If packing before the day of your arrival, store all packed luggage sealed and in a rodent-free environment. On the day of travel, inspect luggage to ensure no rodent has accessed the containers.

(4) Do not bring anything that might present a threat onto the island. This includes plants with root balls / compost (including potted herbs), seeds etc.

(5) All luggage must be closed. Open bags and unsealed luggage will not be permitted to land on the islands.

(6) Avoid leaving your luggage unattended in Martins Haven as this is a high risk area where rats are regularly recorded.

Thank you for your help keeping Skomer and Skokholm special.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. What would actually happen if a rat or mouse got on the island?

The seabirds on Skomer and Skokholm thrive because there are no ground predators- no foxes, weasels, hedgehogs, rats, snakes or similar. As close as neighbouring Ramsey Island, rats arrived historically via shipwrecks, and significant increases in seabird species have only been recorded after incredibly costly and time-consuming rat eradication procedures have been undertaken.

Rats have preyed on 75 species of seabird around the world. One academic paper describes rats as being amongst some of “the largest contributors to seabird extinction and endangerment worldwide”. The arrival of one pregnant female could be all it takes to put Skomer or Skokholm at that level of risk.

2. Why have you made these changes? We’ve been coming for years but this is new.

With increasing numbers of people coming to the Pembrokeshire islands, the risk of rats and mice arriving has increased significantly. There is also greater awareness of how severe the impacts can be.

By taking this action, we are bringing our safeguards in line with similar island nature reserves around the world. We know you visit Skomer because it is special, and we all want to keep it that way.

3. I know this bag is safe- why are you making me check or re-pack it?

Our quarantine policy will only work if we adhere to it absolutely. We have made the decision to prevent any open bags and boxes being landed on the island.

Small mice for example can hide remarkably well and whilst your home might be rodent free, things like rucksacks, sleeping bags etc. may be stored in garages, attics or sheds that are less rodent-proof.

Therefore we are asking the contents of all open bags- however empty or visible- to be manually re-packed into sealed containers which we will be able to loan you for your journey.

4. What about big deliveries to the island?

We have developed a wider quarantine plan which looks at all movements of people and materials to the island and addresses each according to the risk it presents. The movement of all materials will be subject to quarantine.

 

BioSecurity Luggage-poster
House-mouse-copyright-Amy-Lewis

House-mouse by Amy Lewis

More information on our wider procedures is available on request.

For further information or specific queries, contact Lizzie Wilberforce (Conservation Manager) on l.wilberforce@welshwildlife.org