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

The Isles of Scilly
Seabird Recovery Project

Working with communities and visitors on the Isles of Scilly to protect their seabird heritage.

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 13 species; approximately 20,000 birds in all. This includes both European Storm Petrel and Manx Shearwater, for which the UK has a global responsibility. Since 1983, however, the overall seabird population in Scilly has been in decline with an overall drop of about 25% by 2006 and a further drop by 2015.

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.

The project was run by a partnership of organisations; RSPB, the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Natural England, the Duchy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The project is also supported by the Isles of Scilly Bird Group.

Trouble in Paradise

‘Trouble in Paradise’, the Project Film by Matt Brierley


Manx shearwater surveys 

St Agnes school actively involved in seabird conservation

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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