Home to 39,000 pairs of gannets!
Grassholm Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Grassholm Island is a tiny white speck of land, 11 miles from the coast.
As you approach the island, you begin to understand why it’s white. It’s home to 39,000 pairs of breeding gannets, the only gannet colony in Wales and third largest in the UK.
The island comes alive in early spring, with gannets returning to the island from late February onwards. The air is filled with males returning with nesting materials keen to establish territory ready to attract a female.
A single egg is laid in April and chicks begin to hatch in early June. The chicks are then fed by both parents for 90 days until they are fully grown and ready to leave the island in late August and throughout September.
As one of only 23 gannet colonies in the UK and Ireland, Grassholm is of both national and international importance. It is an outstanding seabird spectacle, unrivalled anywhere in Wales for this species.
Grassholm is an RSPB reserve with a strict ‘no landing’ policy, but several boat operators offer trips out to the island to experience the sights and smell first hand.
How to get there
Boat trips are available from Martins Haven with Dale Sailing, or with Thousand Islands and Voyages of Discovery from St Justinians.