For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
North-East couple land dream job on remote Welsh island
BATTERED by the Atlantic, a boat ride away from civilisation and with only intermittent power, the uninhabited Welsh island of Skokholm is not every employees' idea of a plumb posting.
But for a North-East couple given the task of managing the isolated isle, it is the chance of a lifetime.
Richard Brown, from Romanby, in Northallerton, and Giselle Eagle, from Cramlington, Northumberland, will start their adventure next week when they take a boat out to the island which lies 2.5 miles off the Pembrokeshire coast and is a mile long and half a mile wide.
Although they will be the only humans living permanently on Skokholm, they will not be alone – the island sees 100,000 birds a season, including 15 per cent of the world's Manx shearwater population and 20 per cent of Europe's storm-petrels, as well as thousands of puffins, guillemots and razorbills.
It is this birdlife which the couple have been tasked with monitoring for the next three years as the island's owner, the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wale, bids to reestablish what was once Britain's first bird observatory.
The couple were selected for the task because of their experience living on remote islands.
Mr Brown, 32, who attended Allertonshire School and Northallerton College, before studying ecology at the University of East Anglia, has spent the last seven years living on Welsh islands and previously worked to save the local bird population by eradicating rats in Mauritius.
He said: "We're very excited about this opportunity and couldn't be happier just sharing our lives with birds and wildlife.
"The island is very fragile – it's a site of special scientific interest and contains really important vegetation which we will also me monitoring, as well as keeping an eye on the dolphins, seals, porpoises and even the insects."
M Brown became interested in wildlife after joining the local Wildlife Trust Watch group in Northallerton.
He met Miss Eagle, 27, three years ago in Great Yarmouth while she was trying to track down a lost colony of migrating terns.
The couple have since spent two years living together on Bardsey Island, off the coast of North Wales.
She said: “When we first met I'd never been on an island before - it'd never entered my head that I'd end up living on one. I've always loved wildlife.
“But now I'm hooked on both island life and Richard, he's my boyfriend and I'm glad to share his way of life with him.”
Electricity on the island is sporadically provided by solar panels, although the couple will be able to get the internet via a mobile signal from the mainland.
One of their duties, as well as monitoring the wildlife and accommodating the occasional visitor, will be to provide regular blog updates.
To view the blog, visit skokholm.blogspot.com
Comments are closed on this article.