Page last updated at 10:18 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 11:18 UK

Lundy marks 40 years with trust

Lundy island
About 20,000 people visit the island each year

A project to preserve the island of Lundy for the nation is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The island, which is off the coast of Devon in the Bristol Channel, was bought by the National Trust in 1969 for £150,000.

It is managed by the Landmark Trust and is home to 26 islanders, one pub, a single road and a wealth of wildlife.

Lundy, which measures three miles by 0.5 miles, is also believed to have the world's oldest private postal service.

The waters around the island are England's only designated Marine Nature Reserve and the whole island is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, boasting the largest seabird colony in South West England.

'Magical place'

Peter Pearce, director of the Landmark Trust, said: "The Landmark Trust counts its work on Lundy as one of its greatest ever achievements.

"Lundy is one of those rare and magical places which influences people's lives far more than its tiny size would ever suggest."

Fiona Reynolds, director general of the National Trust, said: "How can I describe Lundy? The images that spring to mind are all intensely personal.

"It has the most amazing atmosphere.

"Its sheer cliffs and springy turf, wild winds and shady suntraps, characterful houses and the friendly pub and shop all add up to an essence that is Lundy."

The island's name is believed to derive from the Norse word lundy, which means puffin.

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