A special place... The Isles of Scilly are one of only two places in England where Manx Shearwaters breed
Under threat...The Isles of Scilly hold 3,000 fewer pairs of breeding seabirds than 25 years ago
We need YOUR help to protect our important seabird heritage
Childrens’ puffin treat
Local business ‘St Agnes Boating' gave thanks to the project so far, by taking St Agnes school children on a boat trip to see puffins and other seabirds.
The local community are involved in the project every step of the way and local businessman John Peacock wanted to thank the project for the efforts in protecting the islands seabird heritage at this half-way point of this five year project. Project Manager Jaclyn Pearson suggested the best way to do this was to take the youngest seabird ambassadors, Five Island School, St Agnes school base children, out on a special boat trip to see and learn more about the seabirds at sea.
John Peacock, St Agnes Boating said: ‘The Project is safeguarding our seabirds which is important for ecotourism on Scilly. We have seen the number of passengers taking our weekly ‘Seabird Safaris’ increase this year. An Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Guide onboard points out the seabirds and talks about the Project. Also when we take people to view seabirds we do this at a safe distance which will not disturb the birds, the passengers therefore learn all about the seabirds, how they can help them, and even how to enjoy them responsibly. Personally I have never seen so many Manx shearwaters in our waters, and I have travelled these routes well in the past twenty five years.”
Remy Lewin, St Agnes school pupil aged 11 said “It was really fun today, we saw eight species of seabirds including puffins and shearwaters. I am happy there is no sign of rats so the seabirds can breed again. It’s important they breed and do well as people come to see them.”
Sylvie Hicks, St Agnes school pupil aged 6 said “We saw puffins! They are my most favourite animals in the sea and I don’t normally see them. I love their beaks!”
Lou Simmonds, St Agnes school base Head Teacher said: “It is just brilliant to see how involved the children are with the project, they are assisting with monitoring for rats and today they have been delighted to watch seabirds, including puffins out on the water. Embracing our seabird heritage is so important for the children, and they certainly seem generally more interested in seabirds since the project began. They commented today that it was great to see the seabirds they are protecting”
Sarah Mason, Chief Executive of Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust and an Islands’ Partnership Director said: ‘Tourism employs 91% of Scilly’s population and we know that visitors come to Scilly to experience the wonderful landscapes and exciting wildlife on offer, so the islands rely heavily on the natural environment for the tourism economy.
RSPB Project Manager, Jaclyn Pearson said: “It’s great to be able to take the local children out to see and learn more the seabirds, after all, they will be responsible for them in future! Thanks to also to the community and volunteers involved in the project so far. Hopefully next year the islands of St Agnes and Gugh will be officially declared rat-free. In the meantime, if people think they see rats on either St Agnes or Gugh they are asked to call the project ‘Rat on a rat’ hot-line on 01720 422153. The project team and islanders will then inspect the area and set up surveillance and incursion response measures.”
This is a partnership project between RSPB, Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Natural England and Duchy of Cornwall. The project is funded by LIFE, the EU’s programme for financing key environmental schemes across the continent and a £269,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
For further information and to arrange an interview, please contact:
Tony Whitehead, RSPB Press Officer, 01392 453754, 07872 414365