The Isles of Scilly Environmental Trust

There are many seabirds on Samson, and the time has come for them to breed. The Terns on the North Hill of Samson are especially vulnerable to disturbance. Just lately, it has been noticed that there seem to be lots of dog-owners visiting the Island who let their dogs roam free. These cause havoc in sensitive areas, and could result in the dispersal of colonies of breeding seabirds. The other side of the coin is the fact that the Terns tend to be very aggressive when disturbed and occasionally strike the heads of anyone venturing too close to their nesting site. Not only can they inflict a nasty wound, but creatures other than human trespassers can be assaulted with a razor-sharp beak and possibly severely damaged. We would ask all visitors to Samson please to be careful, and to keep dogs under control and on a leash when near nesting birds.

Fund Raiser
In order to enable the Trust to fulfil its Objects in the Islands, a Fund Raiser is to be employed to implement a long-term fundraising strategy which would supply both core and project funding for the Trust, thus safeguarding its future. The Trust has many projects in mind, and regular funding is needed in order to plan ahead for the many jobs in land management it would like to achieve, including the after-maintenance of these. The post will, preferably, go to a local person with a sound background in financial management, and a proven ability in public relations. It is envisaged that he/she will be employed part-time on a two year contract. Advertising for this post is already in place, so if you think you have suitable qualifications for this position, please contact the Trust Office.

Complaints have been received in the Trust office that livestock is being threatened by infestations of ragwort plants which have seeded onto farmland from other areas. The Trust has long been aware of this problem and is keeping a close watch upon its land, but if this pernicious weed is to be eradicated, everyone else with large tracts of land must do the same. Ragwort is highly dangerous to animals, but, if sufficient grass is available, they will not eat it from choice. The trouble occurs when the grass dries up, usually later in the year, leaving the animals with very little to graze. Ragwort should be pulled up in its entirety with the root in tact, before it has a chance to flower, and then burnt. It should on no account be left lying around to dry out, as the dried plant is even more palatable to animals and there is a danger of it getting into hay feed. Members of Trust staff have already visited Trust land on St. Martinís and made a full survey. They have found only a few plants, but when these are a little bigger, in June, they will be pulled and disposed of.

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