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Welsh island puffins protected thanks to Heritage Emergency Fund grant - Heritage Fund

Skomer Island puffins. Credit: Mike Alexander
Skomer Island puffins. Credit: Mike Alexander

Thanks to a £48,000 National Lottery grant, wardens can continue to care for the vast colonies of rare seabirds that nest on Skomer and Skokholm.

Normally the puffins that nest on Skomer and Skokholm Islands, off the coast of Pembrokeshire in Wales, draw visitors from around the world.

But the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has brought tourism to a standstill, devastating income for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) which cares for the islands.

Sarah Kessell, WTSWW’s Chief Executive Officer, explained: “We earn over half of our income from tourism – visitor centres, cafes, shops, holiday accommodation and day visits to the island. That income has been turned off overnight. It has left us with a gap in our budget of more than £500,000.”

They were faced with the prospect of withdrawing their four island wardens – two each for Skomer and Skokholm. But thanks to a £48,000 grant made through our Heritage Emergency Fund, the wardens can now continue protecting the islands' seabirds and other fragile wildlife.

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