The Farne Islands – ‘The Galapagos of Northumberland’

Inner Farne looking towards the Outer Farne Islands.

With over 100,000 seabirds the Farne Islands are one of the the UK’s most important marine reserves and an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

At this time of year the islands become a hive of activity and a mecca for naturalists, ornithologists and tourists.

During spring and summer, thousands of people visit the 28 islands to experience the wildlife first hand. Known locally as ‘Tommy Noddy’s’ the puffin is one of  the islands main attractions with up to 40,000 of the birds returning to the islands for the breeding season.

A large colony of Atlantic grey seals also inhabit the seas around the islands.

The islands have become famous for being able to get up close to nature and experience wildlife in their natural habitat.

Bobby Pierson, skipper of passenger boat Good Tidings said: “Who needs the Galapagos. If you want to experience nature close up and personal then come and visit the Farne Islands.”

The Islands also have a rich history as the location from which Grace Darling launched her famous rescue on 7th September 1838.

Monitoring the wildlife are a team of dedicated National Trust rangers who live on the islands for up to nine months of year without access to running water.

The two main islands on which tourists can land are Staple Island, 1st May to 31st July and Inner Farne, 1st April to 30th October.

Click on the audio link below to find out more about a day out on the Farne’s and to hear from the rangers about what it is like to live and work on the islands.


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