On the 29th December 2009 our news blog with over 2000 entries was taken down by blogger on suspicion of it being a `spamblog`. Whether this was as a result of malicious intent by persons unknown (well, we know perfectly well who they are, but you know what I mean), or as a result of over zealous spambots. However at the CFZ we like to take inspiration from the best, and so - like London's Windmill Theatre who presented nude tableaux vivant throughout WW2 - We Never Close!

Herewith the temporary News Blog.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Puffin warden wanted for Welsh island

A fresh start for the New Year is up for grabs - as a castaway on a remote island with just half a million birds for company.

Published: 10:09AM GMT 04 Jan 2010

The vacancy for the job as warden of Skomer Island is expected to attract hundreds of applications from people wanting to get away from it all.

It is being described as the British equivalent of The Best Job in the World - the competition held last year to find a warden for Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Skomer, two miles off the Pembrokeshire coast, has no blazing sunshine, coral reef or exotic wildlife.

But to those who want the great escape, it is closest Britain has to a desert island paradise.

It has no mains water, no electricity, no roads, shop, or pub, and is separated from the mainland by Jack Sound, one of the most treacherous stretches of water off the British coast.

It is inhabited by puffins, manx shearwaters, kittiwakes, razor bills and guillemots, along with thousands of wild rabbits.

It even has its own unique species - a tiny creature called the Skomer Vole which is not found anywhere else in the world.

The island is carpeted by bluebells throughout the spring and surrounded by a marine reserve, rich in sealife, including dolphins and porpoises.

And the new warden will live in a clifftop bungalow in the heart of the island's main puffin colony.

Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales chief executive Sarah Kessell said: "We are looking for a very special person to take care of our flagship reserve.

"The warden will have to manage people and resources, be familiar with conservation techniques and be confident on board boats."

The vacancy has come up because the current warden Jo Milborrow wants to return to the mainland after six years on Skomer and its sister island Skokholm.

She and her husband Dave, the assistant warden on Skomer, want a fresh challenge.

Jo, 33, said: "After six unforgettable years we have packed up and shipped our belongings off for the last time.

"I feel incredibly lucky to have lived in such an amazing place.

"Gaining an intimate knowledge of one place, its wildlife and seasonal rhythms are things I value greatly.

"This in-depth relationship with our surroundings is hard to establish in modern life."

The job pays between £14,000 and £16,000 for a 48 hours week with accommodation thrown in free.

Part of the work involves greeting the hundreds of birdwatchers and day trippers who arrive by the tiny ferry boat in the spring and summer - weather permitting.

But only the warden and a few overnight visitors get to see the island's greatest spectacle - the nightly arrival of hundreds of thousands of Manx Shearwaters, a rare seabird which lives underground.

A third of the world's breeding population of Manx Shearwaters breed each summer on Skomer before flying off to warmer climes in the winter.

Jo said: "To have shared my home with puffins, peregrine falcons, shearwaters and storm petrels and to be able to help protect these birds and inspire other people about them has been a high point of my life.

"I wish the new warden as many memorable times as we have been lucky enough to share."


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