New season opens on ‘Puffin Island’

SONY DSC
SONY DSC

One of the country’s most enjoyable wildlife spectacles is welcoming boat trips for the beginning of a new season.

The Isle of May, which sits off the Anstruther and Cellardyke shores in the Forth, is renowned for its bird populations, its history, rocky cliffs and caves.

The Isle is home to the fourth largest breeding group of grey seals in the UK, as well as housing 200,000 seabirds including puffins, terns and razorbills.

The huge west cliffs are teeming with birds throughout the summer months.

David Pickett, Scottish National Heritage’s Isle of May reserve manager, told the East Fife Mail: “As well as its fabulous natural history, the May has a long and interesting cultural history.

“There are two members of staff based on the May and we meet the arriving boats to give a short talk.

“We are also available to give advice and information to visitors.”

The reserve has a boat service from Fife and East Lothian during the visitor season.

Scottish Natural Heritage welcomes boat trips to the island from April until the end of September and does not charge for visiting.

The island has a visitor centre and marked paths covering it.

The private May Princess boat operator from Anstruther runs trips every day of the week, except Tuesdays, during the season and has knowledgeable crew members who can talk about the island and its wildlife.

Return tickets cost £20 for adults, £18 concessions, £10 under 16s with under threes going free plus there is a family ticket for two adults and two children of £50.

It is advisable to reserve tickets in advance but they can be bought on the day.

As the boat has to leave at different times due to the tides it’s best to phone the operator at Anstruther on 01333 310103 or visit www.isleofmayferry.com.

This year people can keep up with the regular goings on on the island by following the new Isle of May blog which is at http://isleofmaynnr.blogspot.com/.