Fine Art Landscape Photography Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK
Limited Edition Print *
Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales
This image is a one minute exposure of Skomer Island from the mainland.
In 1905, J.J. Neale acquired the lease to Skomer Island and was the first to establish the island for the protection of wildlife. Previously, the island had been used by humans right back to at least the Iron Age period, and most likely even earlier to the hunter gatherer period, which dates in South West Wales from 37,000 BP. At this time, Skomer would have been part of the mainland, only being separated following the sea level rise at the end of the last Ice Age circa 12,000 BP. The treacherous waters that separate Skomer Island from the mainland today are called ‘Jack Sound’.
Skomer contains some of the most complete and untouched Iron Age remains within Europe, dating from 5,000 to 2,000 BP, in the form of huts, fields and cairns, which supported a farming community of up to 200 people. Since then, Skomer has been farmed on and off, intensively at times. Neale had to abandon the lease in 1915, after which it was farmed again at intervals until it was bought by the Countryside Council for Wales in 1959 and declared a National Nature Reserve, as it remains today. It is surrounded by a Marine Nature Reserve.
Today, Skomer is well known for its large breeding seabird population, including Manx Shearwaters, Guillemots, Razorbills, Great Cormorants, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Atlantic Puffins, European Storm-petrels, Common Shags, Eurasian Oystercatchers and gulls, as well as birds of prey including Short-eared Owls, Common Kestrels and Peregrine Falcons. The island is also home to Grey Seals, Common Toads, Slow-worms, a breeding population of Glow-worms and a variety of wildflowers. Harbour Porpoises occur in the surrounding waters. The Skomer Vole, a sub-species of Bank Vole, is endemic to the island.
There are over 10,000 breeding pairs of Atlantic Puffins on Skomer Island and the ‘sister’ island Skokholm, making them one of the most important Puffin colonies in Britain. They arrive in mid-April to nest in burrows, many of which have been dug by the island's large rabbit population. The last Puffins leave the island by the second or third week in July.
With an estimated 128,000 breeding pairs of Manx Shearwaters, Skomer and Skokholm Islands are the world's most important breeding site for these birds, the numbers comprising over half the world population of the species. They usually nest in rabbit burrows, a pair reportedly using the same burrow year after year.
* This image is a Limited Edition Print of 350 for all prints larger than 12"x8".