Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 16:06 UK
Volunteers wanted for island life
Cliffs at Flat Holm
The cliffs of Flat Holm offer nesting places for gulls

Wardens on Flat Holm are looking for two people to help manage the island.

A Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Bristol Channel, Flat Holm has a wealth of wildlife, notably gulls and slow worms.

Two volunteers are needed to complete the team which maintains, surveys and leads tours of the island.

Head warden Matthew Lipton says they're looking for a six month commitment but stresses that the experience will help people secure paid jobs in the sector.

Matthew, who's been head warden since March 2009, had previously worked as a volunteer on Flat Holm himself.

Matthew Lipton, head warden of Flat Holm

The island is managed by a small team consisting of the head warden, two assistant wardens, and around four volunteers, with support from the mainland from the Flat Holm Project, run by Cardiff County Council.

The volunteers are expected to carry out the full duties of the paid wardens - driving the tractor, mowing the grass, looking after the island's sheep, carrying out DIY and maintenance work on Flat Holm's buildings, and leading tours of visitors.

Although unpaid, volunteers will enjoy free food and accommodation on the island, plus transport to and from the mainland.

Matthew says it's great experience for anyone looking to make a career in nature or conservation work.

He's also a big fan of island life, as he told Jamie Owen and Louise Elliott of BBC Radio Wales.

"I enjoy the isolation - not relying on other people but having to rely on myself and a small team," he said.

"I quite enjoy communal living - I do sort of miss the shop and the pub but I can live without them."

For further details about the volunteer positions or visiting the island contact the Flat Holm Project Office on 029 2035 3917 or email

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