Working offshore is very different from working in construction onshore - obviously. The long working day (12 hours), the harsh weather conditions, especially off the Pembrokeshire coast, the remoteness, and the reliance on boat or helicopter travel do not suit everyone. Others find it a challenging but refreshing environment, quite different from the nine-to-five routine and the rush-hour commute.
W.B. Griffiths & Son are pleased to of stripped and re-roofed the accommodation block and re-pointed stonework at Skokholm Island for The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. It was never going to be easy but the volume of work completed and the end results over the two week project are hugely encouraging.
The island has no running water system or electricity. Water is pumped from a well pond via hydraulic ram. Rain water is collected from each roof in water butts. There is a small wind generator and mobile solar panel array to charge batteries, with a back up small petrol generator. Kitchen equipment (stove, fridges, water boilers) and all room lighting is bottle gas fired. Heating (only in the Cottage) is by coal or driftwood fires.
There are no roads, but defined paths around the island. An old trackway runs from the landing point to the lighthouse. A dumper truck and powered walk-behind mini-dumper are the only motorised transport on the island.
Skokholm Island is located off the south west tip of Pembrokeshire. It is four kilometres south west of Marloes peninsular and a similar distance south of Skomer, its very different big sister. Skokholm is of international importance for its breeding seabirds and this is reflected in the many designations awarded it. It is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), part of the Skomer and Skokholm SPA (Special Protection Area), part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and part of the Pembrokeshire Islands SAC (Special Area of Conservation).