Grassholm Island

Grassholm Island RSPB Nature Reserve

The RSPB Nature Reserve of Grassholm island  is a remote offshore island supporting over 36,000 pairs of breeding gannets.  This is the fourth largest colony in the world for this breed.

The uninhabited rocky island of Grassholm lies 15 kilometres west of the Marloes peninsula in south Pembrokeshire. It is remote and exposed, surrounded by difficult and turbulent seas.

Grassholm Island was the first RSPB reserve established in Wales in 1948 and public landing is not permitted.

From August it is time for the Atlantic Grey Seals to pup, several hundred seal pups are born each year on Ramseys beaches and in the caves.  The Southern heathlands are a special combination of heather, gorse and coastal plants.  In August they come into their glory, when the heathers and gorse flower together.  This habitat is the haunt of Stonechats, Meadow Pipets, Linnets and Skylarks.

The island comes alive in early spring, with gannets returning to the island from late February onwards.  The air is filled with males returning with nesting materials keen to establish territory ready to attract a female.  A single egg is laid in April and chicks begin to hatch in early June.  The chicks are then fed by both parents for 90 days until they are fully grown and ready to leave the island in late August and throughout September.

Lat/Lng: 51.731287, -5.479151          Grid Ref: SM598093