After fourteen years living and working on the wonderful Farne Islands National Nature Reserve, its time to say goodbye.
The Farne Islands are an incredible place; arguably the best seabird reserve in the UK not just for the sights, sounds and smells but also the intensity of the place with so much wildlife crammed into one small area. Over 85,000 pairs of birds, 6,000 Grey Seals and a lot more besides share those 18 islands totalling only 80 acres and don’t I know it!
I feel I’ve achieved a lot on the Farnes ensuring it remains an important national nature reserve for some of Britain’s rarest wildlife whilst also making it a great place to visit and work. In my time I’ve raised the islands profile, improved living conditions tremendously and improved the day-to-day job immeasurably, something which I am very proud of.
However my own and the Farnes success could not have been achieved without the teams who supported me over the years; from the wardens and rangers on the islands to my wider colleagues in the National Trust, not forgetting the local community and all those others who have been involved over the course of time.
It has been a truly remarkable fourteen years, each one as different as the last and it is a life experience I will never forget. Living and working on the Farne Islands has been a privilege and I have worked and lived with some fantastic people during that time. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
I salute you Planet Farnes.
However it’s not over yet as I’ll be bringing you lots of highlights and photographs from those years on the blog over the next few days…you have been warned.
And on a final note, it’s not all sad news…could I really live without an island or Puffins to work with? Of course not! I’m moving up the coast to the ‘Jewel of the Forth’; the impressive Isle of May to become the islands new Reserve Manager which boasts even more Puffins and Seals than the Farnes so I’m not finished yet.
Bring on the Puffins.
David Steel, Farne Islands 2001-2014