Foulney Island’s new manager will help little terns thrive


A NEW keeper is ready to dive in and be the wind under the wings of some of the UK’s rarest seabirds.

Jake Taylor-Bruce will be living in a trailer on Foulney Island off Barrow during the summer to make sure the little terns have everything they need to thrive.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic for the first time since 1973, Cumbria Wildlife Trust was unable to have a guardian in the Foulney Island Nature Reserve in 2020.

And as a result, the terns have had a terrible year without any successful nesting. This year, the trust hopes to give the birds the best possible chance.

That will mean living on the island full-time in a trailer, which compared to some of its previous accommodations, Mr Taylor-Bruce said, was ‘luxurious’.

“I love it and love places like this,” said the 27-year-old.

“Miniature terns are our second rarest seabird in the UK, so being able to work in this location with these animals that people can never see is a privileged position.

“Living in these remote places in this type of accommodation is definitely something most people would find difficult, but it’s something that I got used to.

“It’s quite luxurious compared to some of my previous accommodations.

“My first job like this was in 2017 where I stayed in a tent for months. I have everything I need here.

The work will vary from building fences, talking to visitors, and counting birds and nesting, but Jake is very excited to see the bird population grow and to work with volunteers.

The Cornwall native has previously worked on the Farne Islands, Handa Island in Scotland and the Azores.

He will be helped by dedicated volunteers from the Morecambe Bay Partnership who will be on hand to speak to visitors and show them the rare little arctic terns that inhabit Foulney Island for the summer.

During bird breeding season (April 1 to August 15), access is limited to designated trails and Slitch Ridge is closed.

No dogs (except assistance dogs) are allowed on the island.

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