Skomer is the largest of the Pembrokeshire Islands at around 730 acres. It was formed at the end of the last Ice Age, around 12,000 years ago, when sea levels rose and isolated it from the mainland.
Though barely a mile off the Pembrokeshire coast, it is separated by a treacherous stretch of water known as Jack Sound, home to hidden rocks and reefs and very strong tidal currents. This isolation helps to keep the island free of land predators, making it an ideal habitat for breeding seabirds, especially those that are burrow nesters, such as the puffins and Manx shearwaters.
Skomer is justifiably famous for its Puffins, having over 6,000 pairs (with another 2,000 on Skokholm) making it the largest Atlantic Puffin colony in southern Britain. It is also home to over half the world’s population of Manx Shearwaters, around 120,000 pairs on Skomer, 45,000 on Skokholm and increasing numbers on Ramsey.
Skomer is now owned by NRW- Natural Resources Wales, and managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. It is a National Nature Reserve, a (SSSI) Site of Special Scientific Interest, a designated Ancient Monument, as well as being surrounded by a Marine Nature Reserve (one of only three in Britain). It has, since 2014, been reclassified as a Marine Conservation Zone as part of its status as an (SAC) Special Area of Conservation, which extends far beyond the Island itself.