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Skokholm, view from Pembrokeshire coast, south-west Wales

Skokholm (Welsh: Ynys Sgoc-holm) is an uninhabited island 2.5 m (4 km) off the coast of south west Pembrokeshire in Wales, lying south of the neighbouring island of Skomer. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

It has an area of one square kilometre and is known for its red sandstone cliffs, home to many seabirds. Skokholm is the site of the third largest Manx shearwater colony, and a large percentage of Europe's population of storm-petrels, as well as 4,500 puffins and 2000 guillemots and razorbills.[1] Boats sail to Skokholm from Martin's Haven on the mainland. However, Skokholm may only be visited by prior arrangement with The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. Visitors can book to stay on this island in basic accommodation. The whole island is a nature reserve as is its near neighbour Skomer. The surrounding waters are a marine reserve.

This island was made famous by Ronald Lockley, a pioneering ornithologist, especially famous for his work on puffins and shearwaters, who wrote many books featuring this island, where he lived and researched for many years. He established Britain's first Bird Observatory there in 1933. In addition to the impressive numbers of breeding seabirds, it is a good UK site for passage migrants; many rarities have been found there over the years.

History

Skokholm is Norse for "Wooded Island". The Vikings who visited the Bristol Channel named it and other islands, and these names persisted through to the present day. It is very similar to the name Stockholm.

The island was bought for £300 in 1646 by William Philipps, a barrister, and it was kept in the family for the next 360 years, until his descendant Mrs. Osra Lloyd-Philipps (1920 - 24 March 2005) of Dale Castle died. The trustees of the estate decided to offer the island for sale, with first refusal going to The Wildlife Trusts, who had managed the island for the last 50 years on their behalf. After a large fundraising effort, the island was successfully purchased in April 2006 and designated a national nature reserve in December 2008.

Notes

External links

Coordinates: 51°41′52″N 5°16′50″W / 51.69788°N 5.28047°W / 51.69788; -5.28047

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