Pembrokeshire

Top snorkeling in Pembrokeshire

St Brides Haven is one of best sites for snorkeling in Pembrokeshire. More

Boat trips to Skomer and Skokholm

Boat trips leave for the bird colonies Skomer and Skokholm from Martin’s Haven. Buy tickets at the nearby Lockley Lodge. Read

Skokholm

The naturalist Ronald Lockley lived on Skokhom for 21 years and became of the first people to study the breeding biology of storm petrels, Manx shearwaters, puffins and  rabbits, which had been introduced for their meat by the Romans.

Lockley set up on Skokholm the UK’s first bird observatory.

Skokholm is the site of the third largest Manx shearwater colony (15% of world population),and 20% of Europe’s population of storm-petrels.

Watership Down influence

In 1950, Lockley moved to the nearby Orielton estate on the mainland, where he set up a nature reserve and continued his research on rabbits later published as The Private Life of the Rabbit (1964)Richard Adams, a personal friend, read the book, inspiring him to write his novel Watership Down (1964). With Lockley’s permission, Adams later included him (and Sir Peter Scott) as a character in his later novel The Plague Dogs (1977).

Orielton would later become an important environmental education field centre.

See also For Ronald Lockley

Orielton would grow to become today’s important environmental education field centre, another lasting Lockley legacy.  But he was only just warming up.  He was instrumental in the founding of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in the teeth of opposition from local landowners, he devised the route of the Pembrokeshire coastal footpath that would turn out to be the first component of today’s all-Wales coast path.

Skomer’s Gullimots

Approximately half the world’s population of Manx shearwaters nest on Skomer while the puffin colony is the largest in southern Britain. BBC Radio 4’s Living World visits Skomer Island off the south east coast of Wales and home to thousands of seabirds. Read

Grassholm Island

Located 11 miles of the coast of Pembrokeshire, Grassholm is home to more than 39,000 breeding pairs of Gannet. It is the only gannet colony in Wales and also one of the largest in the world (around 10 percent of the world population). It is the westernmost point in Wales. Read

One of the first wildlife films was shot on Grassholm. The Private Life of the Gannets is a 1934 British short documentary film, directed by Julian Huxley, about a colony of gannets.  It was the first wildlife film to receive an Academy Award,  winning an Oscar for Best Short Subject in 1937.

WildFilmHistory states:

A truly landmark film….Combining close-up, slow motion and aerial shots, groundbreaking footage reveals the incredible private lives of these birds as they squabble over territory, perform spectacular dives and regurgitate fish for their young. …Written by renowned biologist Julian Huxley, the production is classed by many as the world’s first natural history documentary, its thorough and academic approach a stark contrast to the expedition format of its predecessors.

Diving with seals

10 miles further from Grasshom are the wave-washed basalt and dolerite rocks of The Smalls, which according to the BBC wildlife expert Iolo Williams is one of the best places to dive with seals in Britain. Trips here to this little visited site 

The Welsh Wildlife Centre

The Welsh Wildlife Centre in Pembrokeshire is a great visitor centre set in the Teifi Marsh Nature Reserve. Read

The Sea Empress oil spill

The Sea Empress oil spill occured in Frebruary 1996 at the entrance to the Milford Haven Waterway in Pembrokeshire. It was at the time Britain’s third largest oil spillage and the twelfth largest in the world and had a significant effect on Pembrokeshire’s coastal wildlife, though the damage was less than intially forecast partly becuase many migratory animals had not yet arrived back in Pembrokeshire for breeding when the accident took place. by 2001 biodiversity had to a large extent recovered. More

Bat haven

16 species bats roost at Stackpole including one of the largest colonies of Greater Horseshoe bat in Britain. Come to see this spectacular sight on your own or in the summer as part of an organised Bat walk and talk. you’ve also got a good chance of seeing otters feeding here during the day.