I'd just like to send a quick message of thanks to everyone who chipped in for my leaving present, it's a gesture that means a lot to me. The money will go toward a shiny new camera lens (I've been told it's worth getting the best one I can).
Living and working on Skokholm and Skomer has been a terrific experience and I was sad to leave when I departed for the final time last Sunday. It felt like the end of a great holiday – when you're resigned to going home but know you'll take lots of good memories with you. That is tinged with excitement about what the future holds and a bit of mild panic as I'm rushing to pack belongings and find somewhere to live in Cambridge.
Life on the islands would be very different if not for The Friends. For a start I probably wouldn't have had the same job on Skokholm I've had for the past two years as The Friends have been the driving force behind the restoration project. The planning, purchasing, delivering, recruiting and actual building is a huge achievement and I'm always amazed at what gets achieved by enthusiastic, often untrained, volunteers. But it's not just the restoration work; in day-to-day running of the island there are a number of members who are always willing to help from the mainland - sending stuff out, consulting on problems or coming across to help out. Knowing that there's such a dedicated group behind you makes wardening Skokholm a whole lot easier.
The Friends of Skokholm and Skomer is doing a terrific job, I just want to thank you all for being members and hope you get out to visit the islands more and more.