A special place... The Isles of Scilly are one of only two places in England where Manx Shearwaters breed

play.png  Project video


Under threat...The Isles of Scilly hold 3,000 fewer pairs of breeding seabirds than 25 years ago

play.png  Project video


We need YOUR help to protect our important seabird heritage

play.png  Project video

This partnership project aimed to protect the seabirds in Scilly by keeping St Agnes and Gugh and the uninhabited seabird islands 'rat-free'. The project thanks the EU LIFE programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund for financial support.

The islands are home to breeding populations of 14 species; approximately 20,000 birds in all. This includes both storm petrel and Manx shearwater for which the UK has a global responsibility. Since 1983, however, populations have been in decline.

 The Project had three primary and inter-linked aims which were successfully achieved:

  • Reverse recent declines in seabird populations on the Isles of Scilly through removal of the non-native brown rat from the islands of St Agnes and Gugh, and maintaining the uninhabited seabird islands 'rat-free'.
  • Enable people living on and visiting the Isles of Scilly to learn about, take pride in, and play an active role in celebrating and conserving their seabird and wider natural heritage.
  • Train and support island communities to embrace the benefits of seabird recovery, including the removal of rats, and continue to protect their heritage once the project has ended.


End of Project Conference, St Agnes and St Mary's September 2017

On 13th February  2016 - St Agnes and Gugh was offically declared 'rat-free'! St Agnes school children sang a 'Special Seabirds Song

September 2014 - First Manx shearwater chick in living memory recorded on St Agnes and Gugh

First Manx shearwater chick recorded on Agnes and Gugh in living memory 


Storm petrel chick, St Agnes (Photo David Price). The first recorded chicks to have survived on St Agnes and Gugh in living memory, September 2015 


Volunteer positions for visitors are now closed, but please come along to any walks and talks that may be happening such as Will Wagstaff's or those done durning 'Walk Scilly' to find out about the project during your visit.

Latest news

    • Scillonian III Ferry sailings finish for the year, thanks to...
    • Visit to University of Exeter, social science...
    • Project features in 'CountryFile' Magazine and...
    • End of Project Conference September 27 - 28....

Seabird heritage

Trouble in Paradise

Watch the Project video here and meet our local seabirds and the team...

Principal Funders

  • Eruopa
  • Natura 2000
  • Heritage Lottery Fund

Project Partners and Supporters

  • RSPB
In addition to generous support from LIFE, the EU’s progamme for financing key environmental schemes across the continent and the UK’s own Heritage Lottery Fund, the Seabird Recovery Project is also being supported by the Isles of Scilly’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Sustainable Development Fund and the Isles of Scilly Bird Group.

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