Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Thankyou lads

Farnes team 2008 (back row, left to right) David Steel, Richard Berridge, Kieren Alexander, Simon Capell. (Front row, left to right), Adam Scott, Ian McNee, Matthew Lipton, Anthony Hurd. (Craig Edwards not pictured)

Anthony Hurd, Senior Warden Inner Farne (complete with Puffin chick!)

Kieren Alexander, Senior Warden Brownsman (in Zodiac boat)

So the dust has settled, the hangovers cleared, its over, the Farnes season has come to an end. From Devon to Lothian and beyond, the team departed Sunday morning and went their separate ways to catch up with friends and family and to relive the tails of the islands. As for me, well it really is a case of starting all over again as the winter months will enable me to recruit new staff, prepare the islands for the new season and in mid-March we’ll be starting all over again. Having just escaped, I’m already planning a return this Friday..I just can’t keep away.

It’s been a brilliant season, as the seabirds have had generally a good season (with the expected one or two blips), visitors have come out in their droves (over 40,000 visited), media coverage has been non-stop (from Puffins to Otters) and I learnt how to write a blog. It wasn’t that long ago when the first mobile telephones arrived on the islands (how those have changed life out their!) and now I’m writing blogs from a fifteenth century Pele Tower on the islands. What ever next? GPS on Puffins…oh watch this space.

As for the team, well we started with nine from March-September and this was reduced to four in October. Although there are lots of people I need to thank, there are two I would especially like to say a big thank-you to; Anthony Hurd and Kieren Alexander.

It was a sad note when we departed on Saturday as both Kieren and Anthony will not be returning having spent three glorious years out on the islands. Both men came through the ranks and this season both held the ‘Senior Warden’ positions of Inner Farne (Anthony) and Brownsman (Kieren). Both led by example, both were a credit to the islands and both put 100% into their work as they believed in the Farne Islands. As head warden, I could not have got through the year without either one and it’s a huge honour that I had the privilege to work with them both. In Farnes terms, they won’t be forgotten as simply they were two of the best wardens who have set foot on those rocky shores and they’d be welcome back with open arms. Thanks lads.

As for everything else, well those Seals have done well, as its crunch time with the counting as I’m on the verge of working out the birth and death rate for the season…


Jan said...

You are all a marvellous bunch, and you have done a great job - I hope the NT appreciate you! Nice to put faces to names as well. Thank you everyone for all you have done & shared with us, the public. There are a lot of wild creatures who should say thanks too, for your care and observations and concerns, so maybe I should say it for them!

Good luck to you all, and Merry Christmas!

kezia said...

Well David thank you so much for an update , it is great to see all the faces , I dont think I have ever seen happier ones especially Anthony and Kieren , you must get to be great friends living together like that for 9 months of the year and must rely on each other,lets hope you find some good new replacements for them both , it must be a wonderful feeling to have a job you love doing you are all very lucky and the wildlife on The Farnes are also very lucky to have you all . So back out there on Friday eh well lets hope the weather is kind to you and you have a good trip .
I cant wait to come up and see you all next year might just come up on my way up to Loch Garten as well as on my way back , should be worth two visits I am sure - happy to make tea and do the washing up if need be !!!
Take care David and everyone who had dealings this year with The Farnes may you all have a Happy Xmas and a very Happy New Year .

Mark said...

Hi Steely,

Hope life's treating you well back on the mainland. Bet you can't wait to get back out to the islands for another spring season!
Here at JNCC we're winding down towards christmas, but in the new year we're going to get very busy trying to organise some research into protecting areas at sea for terns in the breeding season. I was wondering if i'd be able to ask your advice on a few things....there can't be that many folk out there who know more about terns, after all!
You can email me at mark.lewis@jncc.gov.uk with your email address if you like, and don't worry, I dont intend to take up too much of your time!
Anyway, hope all is well with you, and you have a very merry christmas and a happy new year!

All the best mate,


Border Reiver said...

Looking forward to having you back on line next season. All the best BR

kezia said...

Hi David and everyone just wanted to send my good wishes again to you all for a very Happy Xmas and a wonderful New Year , I am looking forward to meeting you David on the Farnes in 2009 , I cant believe its neally Xmas and soon a New Year will begin - hope you are all having a relaxing time in your own homes with your families - keep safe and looking forward to more blogging David when you can xxx