The Isles of Scilly Environmental Trust

Need to Replace Lost Trees
The winter has brought with it a few surprises. There has been a surfeit of wind and rain and this has been responsible for some damage around the Islands. A number of trees were blown down, particularly around Bar and Innisidgen. The loss of trees is a problem and it is important to replace the losses as soon as possible. Over the next few years, the Duchy of Cornwall will be planting considerable stands of Monterey Pines to renew the shelter belts, but there is also a need for more native species and broad leaf trees. The Trust is seeking help to meet this requirement. Several locations have been picked out as suitable sites for planting and two local community groups have shown interest in helping to raise the necessary funding and assist with the planting. Scilly originally had a far greater area of tree cover and it is necessary to ensure that as trees are lost, there is an ongoing scheme to replace them.

Sea-Birds – Oil Pollution
Every winter there seems to be an increase in the number of cases of birds suffering from oil pollution found on our beaches. No oil has been seen on the sand and rocks, indicating that it is probably some way off shore. Almost all the affected birds found on Scilly this winter were guillemots. Sadly many of them were so badly covered in oil that they could not be saved. Helping the birds takes quite a deal of effort, and involves several different organisations. We appreciate the help given by the people who have looked after birds until they can be treated, our local Veterinary Surgeon, British International Helicopters who have transported birds to the mainland and Mousehole Bird Hospital who has tried to clean and save them.

Hazard Caused by Wet Weather
The Lower Moors Trail suffered from the weather and the huge number of people wishing to see the Wilson’s Snipe which appeared in the autumn. Some of the old path became broken up or widened as walkers used the verges to keep their feet dry. The continuing wet conditions have caused the path to become even more wet and slippery and the Trust is going to remake some sections of the path this spring. For the time being, the path is likely to remain quite wet, and suitable footwear is necessary. In October there were queues outside the Hilda Quick hide most days, with a strict time quota for the watchers. The bird has been seen again recently, so it can now be viewed without the hassle of large numbers of other watchers. The footpath remains open for use, but anyone crossing the Lower Moors should take care in the wet patches and where the path is being repaired. Several further areas of gorse have been cut and some of the previous cuttings are beginning to show a great improvement. While most of the cut wood has been collected for people to burn, there are still a few piles waiting to be taken by anyone looking for firewood.

Japanese Knotweed Survey
The Trust is continuing to seek information about the growth of Japanese Knotweed in Scilly and survey forms can be obtained from the office. We hope that by knowing where the plant is growing, it will make it possible to develop a co-ordinated approach to controlling the plant. There has been a huge increase in the areas covered by Knotweed in the last few years and without control it will be very difficult to protect some of our special habitats in the near future.

Bat Survey
David Mawer has been looking for bat roosts and feeding activity around the Islands. We hope that any sightings of bats will be reported to help establish the full picture of bats on Scilly.

For more stories
Link to Homepage
Link to Scilly Scene
Link to Flowering Scilly
Link to Museum News
Link to Bird Watch
Link to Notes
Link to Change at the Helm
Link to Community Safety
Link to Road Traffic Accidents

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