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Volunteers wanted to protect environment and history of Wales’ most southerly island

08 Feb 2022 2 minute read
Flat Holm island

A charity has put out a call for volunteers to help protect the environment and history of Wales’ most southerly island, Flat Holm.

The Flat Holm society needs assistance with the day–to–day running of the charity, which works alongside Cardiff Council’s Flat Holm Project Team to protect the island’s flora, fauna and historical features.

The island lies in the Bristol Channel approximately 6 km (4 mi) from Lavernock Point in the Vale of Glamorgan and it includes the most southerly point of Wales.

It is a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of rare plants such as rock sea-lavender and wild leek.

The island also has significant breeding colonies of lesser black-backed gulls, herring gulls and great black-backed gulls. It is also home to slow worms with larger than usual blue markings.

The island has a long history of occupation, dating at least from the Bronze Age.

A sanatorium for cholera patients was built in 1896 as the isolation hospital for the port of Cardiff. Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first wireless signals over open sea from Flat Holm to Lavernock.

Because of its strategic position on the approaches to Bristol and Cardiff a series of gun emplacements, known as Flat Holm Battery, were built in the 1860s as part of a line of defences, known as Palmerston Forts. On the outbreak of World War II, the island was used once again in the defence of the Bristol Channel.

The society  interested in hearing from people who might be able to spare some time volunteering.

‘Following areas’ 

It is particularly keen to hear from people who might be interested in volunteering in the following areas:

  • Treasurer
  • Administrative tasks such as membership, minute taking and correspondence
  • Organising volunteer trips out to Flat Holm
  • Grants and fundraising
  • Organising events

If you would like to find out more about any of these volunteer roles, please email: [email protected] or take a look on the Flat Holm Society website:

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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 years ago

Flatholm or to give its real Welsh name, Ynys Echni, should be on the lips of most who are educated being the very first place to receive signals from Marconi’s wireless invention, the transmittable radio. This made possible by a Welshman David Hughes who invented the carbon electronic microphone used later in film, radio & TV. Think about it. Do we celebrate it. No. Why? Most are not educated about Welsh history.

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