A letter from Lyn Jenkins, Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park

Dear Editor,

I'm very pleased to inform your readers that no fewer than eight rare choughs were spotted at the same time on the cliffs at Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park, Gwbert, Cardigan,  on April 14th 2024.

They were counted by a keen bird-watcher from Cardiff and his wife. They were most excited about the experience! They said they were in our cliff top field, over-looking Cardigan Island, which is about 200 metres offshore. They also spotted skylarks in the field and a group of guillemots on the island.

I'm 77 years of age and have lived here all my life. The largest group of choughs I've spotted over the years is four. So, are numbers increasing? It would be good news for keen bird-watchers and Mother Nature..

Secondly, there used to be puffins on Cardigan Island in the 1930s. Unfortunately, they were wiped out by rats that came from the SS Hereford that ran aground on the island in 1935. The rats were later exterminated by the Ministry of Agriculture in the 1960s.

Would it not be wonderful if the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales , who own Cardigan Island, were to re-introduce some puffins from Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire, which is overcrowded with thousands of them?

Very attractive, colourful puffins would then fly up and down the Cardigan Bay coast-line once again, and be spotted on local beaches and around our coastal villages ,where they would become a major tourist attraction. Now there's a very simple, extremely cheap, worthwhile project for the Welsh Government to truly boost the Welsh tourist economy and assist Mother Nature!

Why don't they liaise with the Wildlife Trust and offer them some sensible funding? The resultant returns and spin-off for Welsh tourism and the West Wales economy will be the best investment they've ever made. Puffins are truly iconic!

Yours faithfully, L. J Jenkins, Gwbert, Cardigan.