Shirley Matthews - Chairman
Mark Burton - Vice Chairman
I first visited Skomer when working as the boatman for Dale Fort Field centre in 1994. I then started to work as part of the Skomer Marine Reserve team based at Martins Haven and also work evenings on the Dale Princess. The Islands are a part of my daily life now and being on the Friends Committee has allowed me to help support the Wardens on both Islands and share my love of these very special places with a wider range of people.
Carol Collins - Secretary
My interest in the islands began in the late 1960s when, as a student, I spent a couple of summers helping with research on Skokholm’s house mice. I fell in love with the island, but other aspects of life took over and I didn’t visit again until 2004. By this time I was a librarian and it seemed only natural to get involved with the library and archives. Thus I found myself on the Friends Committee and involved with the Archives Project.
John Walmsley - Treasurer
Having always been a keen naturalist and having visited Skomer since the 1960s, I was delighted to become involved with the Friends when I moved to Pembrokeshire 10 years ago. I became treasure quite soon and have taken part in many work parties on both Skokholm and Skomer.
I first visited Skokholm with Steve Sutcliffe in 1977, it was the first island I ‘looked after’ catering for visitors for week in 1979, experiencing the infamous Fastnet Race storm in all its fury. I became a member of the islands committee and during the goat removal from the island Steve and I met John Lewis and the ‘Friends of Skokholm and Skomer’ was created. By then Steve and I then jumped islands on to Skomer where I lived and worked, doing field assistant work and research for Edward Grey Institute and Sheffield University [1986-the end of 1994] as well as bringing up our son Ben. I am an island addict [over 55 islands visited round the World] and am a ringer and ecologist running my own business. I promote ‘our’ islands through lectures and sharing my seabird and island knowledge with love, enthusiasm and by mimicking bird sounds! I am involved in the Photographic side of the Archive Project.
My first visit to Skokholm was back in 1962 and I have been more or less obsessed by the Pembrokeshire islands ever since. With John Lewis I was instrumental in setting up the Friends in late 1981 and have been involved ever since. I was warden on Skomer from 1986 to 1994 and have been much involved with the Skokholm restoration work from 2010 to 2014 and continue to organise the annual work parties there. I sit on the WTSWW Islands Conservation Advisory Committee.
Assisting with deliveries for the Skokholm restoration project back in 2009 started a passion for the island. I helped with the re-establishment of Skokholm as a Bird Observatory and sitting on the Friends committee provides a link between the two. As a bird ringer, my visits to the island are focused on work with the birds so am usually found to be up at all hours and windswept! I am keen to promote the work and fellowship of the Friends so information and pictures to share on social media are always gratefully received.
I first visited the islands in the 1980s and was a short-term volunteer on Skokholm in the 90s. I fell in love with the islands and have never recovered from my infatuation. The start of the Skokholm renovation coincided with my retirement from full-time work and I was able to join about a dozen work parties. Around that time I was also elected Chair of the Friends. In 2014, I had the privilege to work as a volunteer on Skokholm for three months.
Tim Healing - Editor
Mike Penny - IT
A chance visit to Skomer in the summer of 1969 and a twenty five year pause has kept me visiting as a 'vol' most years ever since the early nineties. As an architect I was pleased to help with advice on building strategies and when repair work started on Skokholm discovered the delights of the 'lower' island too. I am still an amateur when it comes to wildlife, but it is always a pleasure to meet experts from whom I learn more and chatting to all the different kind of visitors. Making wildlife accessible is so important.