Minister for the Environment, John Griffiths, visited Skomer Island on Thursday 4th October to see why so many people visit this wildlife haven. Greeted by passing harbour porpoise and the newly born seal pups common at this time of year on the beaches around the island, the Minister has learnt about the important scientific research carried out by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales on the island.
Along with its sister island Skokholm, Skomer is an important location for seals and several species of seabirds, for example the islands are home to 50% of the global population of Manx shearwaters. The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales undertake essential research into both seals and seabirds to protect these important species for future generations.
Skomer is also a major contributor to the tourist industry in Wales with 15,000 tourists visiting the island each year.
John Griffiths, Environment Minister, said: “I was pleased to be able to visit the island, especially as bad weather prevented me from doing so earlier this year. I wanted to see to see first-hand how the nature reserve is successfully managed. The Welsh Government is committed to supporting sustainable tourism and places like Skomer play an important role in the local economy.”
Chris Taylor, Skomer Warden, said: “The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales has managed Skomer for over 50 years. In this time we have developed close relationships with partners and universities from around the UK to deliver ground-breaking research on the island. Over the years, this has made a major contribution to our understanding of seabird migration patterns around the world.”
The Island is owned by the Countryside Council for Wales and managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.