Skomer Island

The history and natural history of a National Nature Reserve

Mike Alexander

The definitive history and analysis of one of Britain's most beloved nature spots, written by an expert with 50 years' experience in the field and a long-standing connection with the island, and including hundreds of beautiful photographs of exhibition standard. Full color throughout.
Date Published :
August 2020
Publisher :
Y Lolfa
Illustration :
fully illustrated
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781784618117
Pages : 400
Dimensions : 9.8 X 6.7 inches
Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


Skomer is a captivating island and one of Britain’s most spectacular National Nature Reserves, visited by tens of thousands of people every year and receiving regular media attention from magazines, radio and television wildlife programmes. It has internationally important populations of seabirds, including puffins and Manx shearwaters, and large numbers of grey seal pups are born on the island's beaches. The breathtaking displays of spring flowers, including coast-to-coast bluebells, give the island an almost unrivalled beauty, and it is also one of the best-preserved prehistoric landscapes in Britain. The author's years of meticulous research have resulted in the most complete account of the island's history and natural history ever produced, beautifully illustrated throughout with his own exquisite photographs of species and habitats. Through close co-operation with descendants of the island's former farming families, Mike Alexander has compiled a collection of important and previously unpublished photographs, which inform and enhance the historical sections. The book is written with a level of detail that would make it relevant to professional conservationists, but is presented in a style that is also accessible to amateur naturalists and anyone with an interest in the countryside – given the enormous and enduring popularity of TV programmes such as the BBC’s ‘Countryfile’ and ‘Springwatch’, the potential audience for the book is huge. At the heart of this book is the relationship between people and place: how Skomer has been moulded over the centuries to meet the needs of a succession of inhabitants. This is a universal theme that transcends the boundaries of this tiny fragment of land, and would be relevant to anyone who is curious about the environment we have created. Highly illustrated and full-color throughout, with hundreds of exhibition-standard photographs by the author.

About The Author

Mike Alexander spent 10 years as warden of Skomer Island. He is a trustee and director of the Wildlife Trust for South and West Wales, the organisation responsible for managing Skomer, and was recently elected Chairman of the island’s Advisory Committee. He managed the National Nature Reserves throughout Wales and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and for the past 10 years, he has been the Chairman of a Welsh Government-sponsored organisation called PONT, which seeks to bridge the gap between farmers and nature conservation. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, as well as a lecturer at Bangor University and Birkbeck, University of London. His book, Management Planning for Nature Conservation, has become the standard text on the subject and is now in its second edition, published in 2013 by Springer. His stunning photographs have been widely published in books and in magazines such as BBC Countryfile, to which he is a regular contributor. Examples of his photography can be seen on

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