Proposal to Save Flat Holm Island

Pircure of Flat Holm Island Light House

Flat Holm Island Light House

The Flat Holm society has been working hard behind the scenes talking to the council and other organisations about the future of Flat Holm Island. We have submitted a proposal to the Council indicating that we want to start the process of forming a trust to run the Flat Holm.  We are also in discussions with a number of organisations who have expressed an interest in getting involved.  The proposal was able to highlight that there is strong opposition to closing the island outright with the 3,500 plus signatures we have received on the online petition.

We need the Council to agree to continue funding the island for a number of months to enable us to put plans in place that would enable the island to stay open to members of the public, with the Flat Holm Trust taking on the day to day operations.

Picture of Oystercatchers on Flat Holm Island

Oystercatchers on Flat Holm Island

Cardiff Councillors are formally voting, about the future of Flat Holm, on the 28th February 2013. We hope they accept our proposal and grant us the transition time to start the process. We hope that the Island will be fully funded during that time, which we expect will be between now and September. That being the case, the Island will be able to gain some income from visitors over the summer and can be fully managed by the present staff.

There will be information about the current situation, post 28th Feb, at our AGM on 7th March at the Norwegian Church. We hope to see many of you there.

While we await the outcome of this please do continue to show your support for our campaign. If you live within the Cardiff areas please write to your local Councillors and AMs encouraging them to support our proposal that was submitted to Cllr Huw Thomas.  If you have not already done so please sign our online petition and if you would like to hear the latest news about our campaign please follow us on our Save Flat Holm island Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Thank you!

The Flat Holm Society Committee

Petition generates overwhelming support to Save Flat Holm Island

The Society has been delighted and very moved by the amount of support that has been received over the last few days since Cardiff Council’s proposed budget cuts came to light.  With over 350 likes on our “Save Flat Holm Island” Facebook page and a staggering 1,635 signatures on our online petition the response from the public has been overwhelming.

Amongst other cuts the council is proposing to “Cease Operation of Flatholm Island and Consider Options for Disposal”.

In the interest of openness and transparency, public are being invited to have their say on Cardiff Council’s budget proposals via an online survey. The next step of our campaign to Save Flat Holm Island is for as many of our supporters as possible to complete this survey and let your thoughts about Flat Holm Island’s future be heard.

If the council does choose to dispose of the island it is very important that it falls into the hands of suitable custodians to protect and preserve it for future generations.

Flat Holm Island is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Local Nature Reserve and a Special Protection Area, due to the maritime grassland and rare plants such as Rock Sea-Lavender, Wild Leek and Wild Peony. During spring and summer the island is also home to a significant breeding colony of Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Flat Holm is also home to slow worms, thought to be endemic to the island, common lizards and Peregrine Falcons. Historical features on the island include the remains of a cholera hospital and Victorian and WWII gun batteries.

If the island were to fall into the wrong hands we would lose not only a very important conservation area but a valuable environmental learning resource for young people and community groups in Cardiff and the surrounding areas. The effect a couple of nights on the Island has on children, for example, is amazing! The Island team really get the kids exploring the natural environment, they also focus on getting the children to think about their energy and water usage which, of course, an Island is ideal for.

We are quite sure that Cardiff is the only City in the UK with an Island resource like this on its doorstep and it would be a terrible shame if it were lost completely.

Please make your feelings known by completing Cardiff Council’s survey:

If you haven’t already done so please also sign the online petition at:

If you can offer us practical hands on support with our campaign please contact us.

You can also keep track of the latest campaign news on the “Save Flat Holm Island” Facebook page and also via our normal Flat Holm Website and Flat Holm Society Facebook pages.


Cardiff Council propose to “Cease Operation of Flat Holm Island”

We have received some very worrying news that has come out of yesterday’s Cardiff Council committee meeting. One of the proposals in the Council’s proposed budget savings is to “Cease Operation of Flatholm Island and Consider Options for Disposal”. There will be a Council meeting on Thur 28th Feb to decide the future of Flat Holm Island.

There will be a proposal put forward to find an alternative method of operation, other than through the Council, to run the Island. A decision will be taken, to take effect from 31st March 2013.

David Westerland, who is covering Natalie Taylor’s maternity leave, will be speaking at the FHS AGM on 7th March and will be able to inform members of the outcome of the meeting.

If there is any more information about this proposal, we will let you know.

The extract from the Council’s Savings document reads:

Cease Operation of Flatholm Island and Consider Options for Disposal – the visitor and income profile for Flatholm demonstrates that demand for the island is highly concentrated in the summer months and is insufficient to cover the operating costs of the facility. It is proposed to cease all visits to the island, and dispose of the island to a third party with no further Council involvement. Visits to the island could be ceased promptly whilst options for disposal are explored. The budget saving reflects retention of a small contingency for service visits during closure. The proposal also includes the disposal of the Lewis Alexander, the vessel currently used to service the island which has increasing costs associated with keeping it serviceable and licensed due to age. If minded to retain some operation of the Island whilst disposal is explored and effected, revision of operations so that visits and overnight stays are only facilitated in the summer could be implemented saving the lower amount of £100k, with visitor access provided by partner commercial boat operators, with emergency/service visits by

Council staff facilitated through the Harbour Authority’s “survey vessel””

If you feel strongly against this proposal please please please voice your concerns directly to the Council and please also sign the online petition at:

You can also keep track of the latest campaign news on the “Save Flat Holm Island” Facebook page and also via our normal Flat Holm Website and Flat Holm Society Facebook pages.

Thank you for your support

FHS Chair & Committee