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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 December 2006, 07:04 GMT
Wind turbine for island's phones
Ian Jolly
Mr Jolly became a Barsey Island trustee two and a half years ago
A remote island off the coast of the Llyn peninsula will soon benefit from the expertise of one of its trustees.

Ian Jolly has already improved telecommunications on Bardsey island but the system runs on batteries which need to be changed regularly.

Now he plans to make use of the island's weather and will install a wind turbine to make battery changing a thing of the past.

He hopes the system will support an internet broadband connection.

Ian Jolly, 61, from Bryn y Baal, Flintshire, had heard of Bardsey but had never visited the island before he was contacted by the trustees in 2000 to help them set up a new phone service on the island.

Solar panels

"The problem is that the island has no permanent electricity supply and also there is only a mobile phone signal either on high land or the northern tip of the island," he said.

Working for free, Mr Jolly set up a receiver on the northern tip of the island, which relays the phone signal to houses on the island.

He said phone calls are easier than they were but were expensive because they were on a mobile phone network.

In summer, batteries used to run the system are charged by solar panels, but during the winter someone has to go and change them regularly.

Mr Jolly decided a small wind turbine would be the answer.

Broadband connection

A small unit, such as those found on yachts, will be sited low so as not to disrupt the view and also to lessen any chance of low-flying Manx shearwaters crashing into it.

Ultimately, Mr Jolly would like to see a broadband connection on the island.

Having a phone link with the outside world had "opened up a whole new world" for islanders, he said.

"But it hasn't changed the remoteness of the place, it just makes life more liveable on the island," he added.

Bardsey Island has been a National Nature Reserve since 1986 and the trust which runs it is keen on keeping it as 'green' as possible.

Emyr Roberts, the island's warden, said the island would make an "ideal place" for a wind turbine.

The island's only permanent residents, farmers David and Libby Barnden, are set to leave and have applied to live on Canna in the Hebrides - population 15.

They are leaving Bardsey because of "financial circumstances" and not loneliness, they said.

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