National company ensures annual gull Survey goes ahead

Cardiff based Admiral Group plc has ensured that the 2019 gull count can go ahead with a generous donation of £340.


Flat Holm is an important breeding colony for lesser black-backed, herring and great black-backed gulls. The gull survey has been running on Flat Holm since the 1950’s and provides valuable population data on amber listed species that have been in decline for some time.

The survey involves a team of volunteers undertaking the survey and the money will fund the boats required to take the volunteers to Flat Holm.

We are incredibly grateful to Admiral for their donation as grant funding for this important monitoring study has all but dried up over more recent times. The money will ensure that the ongoing monitoring of this important species can continue for the 2019 season.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to get involved with the gull survey and other volunteering on Flat Holm island please drop us an email! flatholm.society@gmail.com

August 2018 Working Day

Society members worked their socks off during a working day on Flat Holm recently and completed a long list of jobs!

From stripping and painting a door in the barracks to replacing a damaged hand rail, weeding the water catchment area to mowing and weeding around the keeper’s cottage and fog horn station. A great day was had with superb weather to boot!

Barracks Door

Newly painted barracks door

Fog Horn Keepers Cottage

Fog Horn Keepers Cottage

Newly replaced handrail

Newly replaced handrail

Weeded water catchment

Weeded Water Catchment

Would you like to sp end some time volunteering on Flat Holm island?  Find out how you can become a member of the society and take part in volunteering activities on the island here!

 

 

 

2014 Logo Competition Winner

Logo Competition WinnerWe are pleased to announce the winner of our 2014 logo competition is Gwyn Hopkins.

“Flat Holm Island is known for its glorious and spectacular sunset. This gave me the inspiration for the logo. It is also a bird sanctuary. hence the birds in the distance returning home to the island.” Gwyn Hopkins

He wins a free day trip to the island and a year’s membership of the society.

Congratulations Gwyn!

Gwent Glamorgan Recorders Newsletter

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Richard Facey, Flat Holm Ringing Group, Ringing a House Martin on one of the summer trips to Flat Holm.

The Flat Holm Sociey feature in the latest edition of the Gwent Glamorgan Recorders Newsletter. 

The article gives a comprehensive update on the summer trips over to Flat Holm.

Also featured in the newsletter is a very interesting article about the work that the South East Wales Biodiversity Records are doing in collecting data from Mary Gillham’s diaries.

Competition: design the new Flat Holm Society logo

At the May 2014 FHS committee meeting, we decided a Society re-brand was in order. This starts with designing a new logo. So, if you would like to exercise your imagination, this competition is for you.  You don’t need specialist design skills; just a great idea about the island!

The competition closes on 31st July 2014. The prize is a year’s free Society membership and a trip to the island.

Logo competition terms and conditions 

Please read very carefully the specification, and terms and conditions, before you start. You’ll also find details of where to send your logo idea.

Good luck!

St. David’s Day rugby is played on Flat Holm!

Funded by our Environment Wales grant, Warden Stewart Gray and several Society members, including two of our youngest and two of our oldest, took to a flat calm Bristol Channel at dawn on St David’s Day with Ryan from Bay Island Voyages for a working weekend on the island. Due to the terrible weather, it had been several weeks since a visit.

Winching the wind turbine

Carwyn and Stewart raise the wind turbine

On our initial walk around in windless, gorgeous sunshine, we were relieved to find the island in a very good state, with only minor storm damage to some guttering. The island welcomed us and St. David’s Day with beefy clumps of daffodils here and there. Easter also seems well anticipated with lots of huge rabbits and extensive burrowing higher up the cliff above West Beach.

The most urgent job was to overhaul the wind turbine so it could complement the solar panel power generation once more. Engineers Lee, Peter, Stewart and Bob got on with this, ably assisted by rugby player Carwyn contributing his magnificent strength to the arduous job of winching the pylon up and down.

Plastic washed up on West Beach

42 bottles, 15 balls, 5 shoes …

Meanwhile, down the hill on West Beach, Linda, Sarah and Ray conducted a beach survey. Once the Marine Conservation Society form was completed, 42 plastic bottles, 15 balls and 5 shoes were recorded … all just from West Beach. The flotsam included an intact rugby ball which Ray appropriated for an impromptu rugby game with his son Carwyn.

Pink granite boulder, West Beach

The boulder has moved …

Linda observed West Beach’s most famous resident, a pink granite erratic boulder, had been shifted by the huge storms. We also believe there has been some storm damage to the wave-form limestone karst pavement.

Sarah and Bob carried out a long overdue photographic vegetation survey while Linda swept the scrub with binoculars to count the impossibly elusive Soay sheep: all 26 are present and doing well.

After a toasty night in the farmhouse, where the temperamental kitchen range did a better job of cooking us than the food, we woke to a windy, grey and drizzly Sunday.

St David's Day rugby on Flat Holm

Rugby on St David’s Day with a ball found on West Beach

Kitted up in all our wet weather gear we did a bird walk, led by Stewart. Most lesser black-backed gulls are back, plump and well groomed, bickering over the prime nesting spots. A couple of ringed birds were noted but we could not get clear sight of the ring numbers. We spotted several pairs of oyster catchers on the beaches and a lone song thrush perching on an isolated cliff spot.

Vegetation and path clearing took us to mid-afternoon when the weather turned pretty dire.  Those of us going back were glad to see Ryan’s lights setting off from Penarth Head in the gathering gloom.

After a surprisingly smooth and dry ride back across the rainy, westerly swell, Sam let us through the barrage lock with the usual jokes on the public(!) tannoy. We celebrated safe arrival with a naughty roar around Cardiff Bay in the dark before being dropped, exhausted, damp and happy, at Environment Quay.

Do join us for the next working weekend on 29-30 March!

Future of Flat Holm island secured

FH IslandWe are very pleased to announce that at a meeting of the Cardiff council’s cabinet yesterday it was agreed that the island should remain open and operated by the authority until April 2015. Operational control will then be transferred to two unnamed national organisations which have been chosen as the preferred operator after the council sought expressions of interests.

This is excellent news for Flat Holm and the Society will continue to support the work of Cardiff Council and the new organisations during the period of transition and beyond.

Read the story about this in today’s Western Mail.