Ramsey Island covers c.640 acres and is managed and run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). It was originally owned by the Church but was sold privately in the early 1900’s and used mainly for farming, until it was purchased by the RSPB in 1990, as they saw it as an important site for breeding.
The RSPB now has full responsibility for managing the island, which is carried out by a full-time warden, with support from a variety of volunteers through the year.
There are many boat trips to the island and it’s open to visitors during the summer when sea conditions permit. The journey around the island is truly amazing with a wealth of seals, birds and, if you’re lucky, porpoises and dolphins!
The island itself embraces heathland as well as spectacular cliff formations and views across the Atlantic Ocean.
The island is an area of special protection for a wide variety of birds, which include choughs and peregrines. It also accommodates a flock of c. 200-250 welsh mountain sheep.
In the past, the island had brown rats, but by the year 2000 these had been eradicated. This helped to protect the island’s bird population, which, over the years, had been badly impacted and now there is an extensive protection regime to prevent reintroduction.
Many people consider Ramsey to be one of the best places in the UK to see wildlife and is, proudly a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Ramsey if very popular with families during the summer months and it has visitors every day who love to see and hear the choughs, who gather food from the sheep-grazed grassland.
Perhaps the greatest attraction is the grey seals, as Ramsey is the largest site for pupping in the southwest of Wales, with many sightings on the small beaches. You can watch them from the cliff tops or from boats…. a very special experience.
Ramsey is about one kilometre wide, just over three kilometres long and, in total, covers 260 hectares. It used to be the home of St Justinian and is the fourth largest island in Wales.
One of the most exhilarating features of the island is the Bitches, which is a band of rocks, which has been the scene of many shipwrecks over the centuries!
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