A Trip to Lundy

It was the first day of July and with an early start that morning, my bags were packed and I was heading south for the departure of MS Oldenburg. It was a glorious morning with blue sky and specks of high cloud; I was hoping this weather would last. A two hour boat trip and we arrived on shore at a place the Norsemen called “Puffin Island.” A somewhat steep climb to the top past the only trees on the Island, some mixed broadleaved and Mediterranean-looking pines. We reached the top and arrived outside the village boozer, otherwise known as the Marisco Tavern. A few pints of Lundy Light ale sounded good but it was lunch then straight to work! We trekked north and began to survey the heathland. A few hours later, thanks to the ladies from West Cornwall NT, a delicious meal to end the day, whilst us blokes (myself, Matt Hunt and Josh Day) took to washing up!

The next day was beautiful again, I felt refreshed from a good sleep and began to pick up different plant species and grass types common on Lundy’s grassland; such as tormentil, Yorkshire fog (or ‘Irish Mist,’ according to Matt), bird’s foot truffle, trefoil rather, bell heather, thrift, and the usual masses of bracken, gorse (including western gorse) and fern. I did see the famous ‘Lundy Cabbage’ too. After a long day of surveying, and the absence of trees, my face was as red as Sir Alex Ferguson’s with United losing in extra time. Either way, this didn’t deter me from going for a midnight walk and star-gazing some immensely clear Lundy skies. I spotted three shooting stars and a satellite, quite spectacular!

Thursday was cloudy with a biting wind, but this didn’t deter us from yet more quadrats! I certainly enjoyed the bangers and mash that the ladies kindly cooked for everyone that evening! Friday was dull – the wind picked up further and come the afternoon, the heavens opened. I decided to walk to the far north end of the Island, to the shock of some of my colleagues. 2 and a half miles and the North shore I had reached. The waves crashed against the rocks and the skies dropped buckets of rain. I took some photos and headed home. I’ve never been so drenched but it was just water. Later that evening, the team descended on the tavern and I enjoyed a few pints of Lundy Light and some tender venison. I also met someone wearing a t-shirt of one of my favourite bands, a Finnish metal band I’ve seen live….I was the only metalhead he’d met on the Island! Forget ‘one direction;’ this is proper music, like Metallica at Glasto!

Saturday looked good, and I decided to head north once again in better conditions. Finally after a good 5 mile round walk, I reached the harbour and enjoyed the sun and sea views with Matt and Josh. Josh went for a swim with the seals (literally) and Matt went fishing before we set sail for the mainland.

I had a great time on Lundy; I find the Island’s history fascinating and learnt many plant species. I gained an insight into surveying, courtesy of the efforts of Janet Lister, who I thank for being chief organiser of this great trip. It was also great meeting Rachel, Laura, Charlotte and Josh and I wish them good luck for the future.

I’ll now attach a slideshow of pictures I took whilst on Lundy. Thanks for reading.

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