Friday, 8 June 2018

Farewell from Bee and Ed

It comes with mixed feelings that Bee and I say goodbye to Skomer Island and move on to pastures new at the end of this year. The last six years have been an eclectic whirl of seabirds, people, seals and lots of hard work. It has been a great privilege to work on such an amazing site and live amongst its numerous wild inhabitants. We have met so many wonderful people and built so many meaningful friendships that leaving will come with a touch of sadness.

Without some of these people the job would have been impossible and we would like to acknowledge them if we can. We would like to thank, all of the Long-term Volunteers, Weekly Volunteers, Work Party Volunteers, Assistant Wardens, Visitor Officers, Field Workers, the Lockley Lodge team and all other Trust staff that we have worked alongside. Also the Skomer Marine Conservation Zone team, the Friends of the Islands, members of the Islands Advisory Committee, the Trustees of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (a couple of very special ones in particular), Dale Sailing (as long as they loose the Skomer games this year!), all of the researchers who work on the island, donors to the Trust and of course all of the lovely visitors (both overnighters and day visitors) we have met over the years. On top of all of that there are the staff on other Pembrokeshire islands, the Marloes Parish Council, too many local people to name, local farmers, some ex-Skomer Wardens and the volunteers at the Wooltack Point coastguard lookout, amongst many, many others.

The island will definitely need continued support if it is to remain the amazing and world leading wildlife destination and research hotspot that it currently is and the new Wardens will need as much moral support as people can offer.

We 💗 maintenance work

For the new Wardens we would like to offer the following advise: the job comes with some hugely rewarding moments and the experience that you can gain on an island like this, working with seabirds and people, is literally second to none. However, don't expect to get through any meal without being interrupted, or for the phone to stop ringing, and you'll be alright.

Kraken - our foster child

Kraken, shortly before we released him back into the wild

Inevitably, we have made mistakes and not everybody has agreed with everything we have done, but at least we can say we have given it our all and tried our best for the island, the Trust, the visitors and, most importantly, the wildlife.

Our most memorable moments have included: the return of the seabirds in spring, helping with Guillemot work on the Amos, going to sleep with the sound of the shearwaters at night, freshly caught Mackerel and Pembs potatoes (thanks to Treehill farm), the Skomer Games, curry nights with our staff, working with the seals, helping the researchers with their studies and hundreds of hours spent on our boat counting seabirds.

Lunch time on the Amos

Beautiful Mackerel
Loving seals (Photo by Alistair Wilson)
Concentrated seabird counters

Thank you to everyone who has welcomed us here and most of all to Skomer Island! We will cherish our memories and never forget these exceptional years.

Happy Skomer Warden

Bee giving welcome talks

Feisty Shags

Amazing visitors (Short-eared Owl chicks) to Bee's garden
Ed and Bee
(Skomer Wardens)

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