Skomer is the largest of the Pembrokeshire islands, a national nature reserve of international importance for its seabirds. It's also a good place to see seals, the spring and early summer has some of the best wild flower displays in western Britain.

The island's vegetation is pruned by wind and salt, manured and trampled by seabirds, and grazed by thousands of rabbits. Bluebells and red campions flourish in sheltered areas, with drift and sea campions on the clifftops. There are no trees, although willow, bramble and Blackthorn scrub survive in the valleys.

Skomer has the largest and most accessible colonies of seabirds in southern Britain. The cliffs re wall-to-wall seabirds - fulmars, razorbills, guillemots and kittiwakes. Puffins nest in burrows in the cliff-top turf, herring gulls and great black-backed gulls on rocky outcrops, lesser 'lack-backed gulls on the plateau. The noise, smell and breeding activity continues night and day.

The island has more than 100,000 pairs of Manx shearwaters, possibly the largest colony of his species in the world. Feeding out at sea by day, they return to their burrows at night, heralded by their unmistakable eerie cries which once gave Skomer a reputation as the "island  lost souls". Staying overnight on Skomer is an unforgettable experience.

The seabirds are a food supply for ravens, buzzards and peregrine falcons, which also breed and feed on the island. Several pairs of chough and a variable number of short-eared owls aIso breed here.

There are no predatory mammals such as foxes or rats, hence the abundance of ground-nesting birds. The Skomer vole is unique to the island. Toads are present in their thousands, along with some frogs, palmate newts, lizards and slow-worms.

Grey seals are seen on rocks at low tide throughout the year, especially near the Garland tone. From late August to October the female seals (cows) come ashore to have their pups.

Skomer Marine Nature Reserve

The Skomer Marine Nature Reserve is the only Marine Nature Reserve in Wales and one of only three in the UK. Along with the familiar seals, fish, crabs and lobsters the Reserve is home to more than a third of all types of British seaweeds, over 75 different sponges and 40 pecies of anemones and coral.

Warm-water species like the pink seafan, are at home in the Reserve. This is due to the waters being warmed by the Gulf Stream. This edge-of-range species could be one of the first marine species to react to the effects of climate change.

An exhibition and video showing Skomer's marine wildlife is located at Martins Haven - open from

 Easter to November, all visitors are welcome.

Marine wildlife is protected through the 'User Regulations and Zone map' and Byelaws, these long with dive safety information are available from the Skomer MNR office tel.01646 636 36 or email:,uk

Log on to more details, and to sailing times.


A Pembrokeshire Tourism site contact 01994240819 for further information

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