Ghostly going-ons!

Flat Holm wardens and volunteers over the years have encountered a fair few unexplained occurrences on the island ranging from the sound of footsteps in a deserted building, the disappearance of tools and the feeling of a presence in certain rooms however, I don’t think any of them have witnessed an actual sighting… UNTIL NOW!!!

Dark Tales presents Small Island Ghost, the pilot episode of a darkly narrated anthology series. Filmed on Flat Holm this spooky story is sure to have you looking over your shoulder next time you visit!!!

Sleep well and don’t have nightmares!

Flat Holm – A Walk Through Time

Whilst trips out to the island are unfortunately off the agenda for the time being you might find yourself longing for holm! Flat Holm – A Walk Through Time might be just the thing you are looking for to alleviate the holmsickness!

Grab yourself some popcorn and settle down to watch this stunning new film which explores the sights, sounds, history and nature of this special island.

Have your say about volunteering on Flat Holm!

The Flat Holm project team want to know what you, as volunteers involved with the island, think is important to include in their plans for the “Flat Holm – A Walk Through Time” project. They’d like to know your experience of volunteering and ideas for the future for volunteering, as well as for activities and events on the island, ways of finding out more and sharing your own stories. Help inform the project team putting together the bid for the National Lottery Heritage Fund by completing this brief questionnaire:

We need your help!

Cardiff Harbour Authority, the RSPB and the Flat Holm Society are working together on a major project, which will help us protect the heritage and wildlife of the island for future generations, and bring its amazing stories to life for visitors, as well as people on both sides of the Bristol Channel. The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded an initial grant to help with planning.

We want to know what you think it’s important to include in our plans for the “Flat Holm – A Walk Through Time” project; from activities and events on the island to ways of finding out more and sharing your own stories. Please help us secure the full grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund by completing this brief questionnaire.

Aerial image of Flat Holm
Flat Holm – A Walk Through Time

Lake name recognises pioneering naturalist

A lake on Macquerie Island in Antarctica has been named after Dr Mary Gillham.

Mary was a pioneering naturalist and prolific wildlife author, who took an active interest in the environment for over 80 years. Mary had a long history of involvement with Flat Holm which stemmed from her life-long fascination with island habitats, their conservation and how they changed over time.

You can read more about Mary’s expedition to Macquerie Island and her life’s work of documenting well over 100,000 wildlife records spanning 70 years, on the Mary Gillham Archive website.

Society Member Wins National Award.

Society member, Lara Davies, has won 2nd place in the National CSAD Ceramics Excellence Award.

Now in it’s third year, the award recognises excellence in work from students at schools and colleges around the UK.  It is a celebration of emerging talent and the potential of ceramics in encouraging significant material understanding both within arts practice and in prompting wider appreciation of our material world. From the physics of modelling sculpturally to the alchemy of technical glaze application – the breadth of ceramics as a discipline is expansive and constantly evolving.

Lara’s vase incorporates the features and people that are Flat Holm Island and combines a range of complex techniques including sculpting, etching and glazing. 

Well done Lara!

Lara with her award winning vase.

Flat Holm – A Walk Through Time

Arial shot of Flat Holm Island
Flat Holm Island – Have your say!

The Flat Holm project want’s your views! Whether you have visited Flat Holm or not the Flat Holm project would love to hear your views about their plans for the island.

Find out all about “Flat Holm – A Walk Through Time” the National Lottery Heritage Fund – Cymru project with RSPB Cymru and the Flat Holm Society, on BBC Radio Wles’ Country Focus programme.

Presenter Rachael Garside heads over to to Flat Holm to find out about the upcoming renovation and environmental works and how the visitor experience will be improved. Listen online at:

Then complete the online survey at:

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!

New lease of life for Flat Holm as HLF funding is announced

A project which seeks to re-engage Cardiff with Flat Holm has secured phase 1 grant funding towards the proposed £1.3m development of the Island.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £152,200 of development phase funding to Flat Holm; A Walk Through Time – a joint project between Cardiff Council, RSPB Cymru and the Flat Holm Society that seeks to breathe new life into the Bristol Channel island to preserve its heritage, protect its rich wildlife and attract more visitors to the site.

Flat Holm is steeped in history and the earliest known visitor to the island was St Cadoc in the 6th Century. During the 18th century, the island’s location made it an ideal base for smuggling. It is probably most famous though for being the site of Marconi’s first wireless signal transmission over open sea in May 1897.

The project includes extensive renovation of the Grade II-listed Fog Horn Station, stabilisation of the Grade II-listed cholera hospital and laundry buildings, as well as repair works to the Victorian water catchment system on the Island.  Environmental development is planned to improve habitats for Lesser Black-Backed Gulls and maritime flora and there will also be on-site interpretation to take visitors on a journey through the history of the island.

In addition to the Island works, the project also includes plans for a large-scale public engagement venture on the mainland to promote Flat Holm. The proposed events, outdoor photographic exhibition, links with local attractions and  large scale sculpture on Cardiff Bay Barrage  will  bring the sounds and stories of the Island through time to Cardiff residents and visitors.

The project will also provide opportunities for more school groups, communities and tourists to engage with or visit the island alongside increased volunteer engagement offering more opportunities to experience living and working on this gem of an Island.

The £152,200 award is the first of two phases of funding to develop and deliver the £1.3m project, with the potential of around £800,000 of HLF funding in total if successful at round two.

Running parallel to the project will be the reinstatement of the jetty, a vital structure for servicing and bringing visitors to the island, thanks to a £385,000 grant from the Landfill Communities Fund. Repair of the jetty is vital to renewing the access arrangements to the island following deterioration and damage from weather and tidal conditions over many years and will serve to support the planned HLF project.

Bridget Box, Secretary, Flat Holm Society, said: “This is marvellous news! Our thanks go to everyone who worked so hard to secure this essential funding. The immediate future of the island with its unique history and habitats is secure and the Flat Holm Society looks forward to working with our Partners at the Council and the RSPB to continue important conservation and maintenance work, as well as making the island a first-class visitor attraction.”

Arial shot of Flat Holm Island

Flat Holm is probably most famous though for being the site of Marconi’s first wireless signal transmission over open sea in May 1897.

Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, Cllr Peter Bradbury said: “This is fantastic news for the Council and our partners in the conservation and development of Flat Holm.

“Flat Holm is a unique attraction and one of our city’s hidden treasures so I’m delighted that we have been successful in gaining the development phase funding that will enable us to take the first step in breathing new life into the island to attract both local people and visitors to the Welsh capital.

“We’re very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund, and of course, all those who play the National Lottery, for this funding which will help us to renovate key island buildings and improve the natural habitats for wildlife on the island while giving people the opportunity to find out more about the fascinating history of the place.”

If you would like to get involved with the work of the Flat Holm Society and have opportunities to volunteer on the island, then why not join us and become a Flat Holm Society member!