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Gallery 1 > North-East of England > Farne Islands, Northumberland

01.  Billy Shiel Kiosk, Seahouses Harbour

 

02.  Puffins Approaching!

 

03.  Gulls In The Sun, Staple Island

 

04.  Staple Island, towards Brownsman

17.  Flight Of The Shag

 

18.  Basking Puffins, Staple Island

 

19.  Arctic Terns

 

20.  Pinnacle Rocks

 

 

13.  Protective Parent. Shags At The Nest Site

 

14.  Arctic Tern With Sand Eel

 

15.  Common Gull

 

16.  The Jetty, Inner Farne

09.  Puffin Watch, Billy Shiel Boat Tours

 

10.  Another Incoming Puffin

 

11.  Feeding Time For The Guillemot

 

12.  A Dive Bombing Arctic Tern

05.  Caught In Flight, Puffin With Sand Eels

 

06.  Head On (photo by Christopher Corr, aged 12)

 

07.  Pinnacle Rock

 

08.  Guillemot Colony, Staple Island

21.  Mother Protects Her Chick

 

22.  Basking Puffins, Staple Island

 

23.  Lunch Time

 

24.  Staple Island, towards Longstone Lighthouse

The Farne Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Northumberland, England. There are between 15 and 20 islands depending on the state of the tide. They are scattered about 1½–4¾ miles (2.5–7.5 km) from the mainland, divided into two groups, the Inner Group and the Outer Group. The main islands in the Inner Group are Inner Farne, Knoxes Reef and the East and West Wideopens (all joined together on very low tides) and (somewhat separated) the Megstone; the main islands in the Outer Group are Staple Island, the Brownsman, North and South Wamses, Big Harcar and the Longstone. The two groups are separated by Staple Sound. The highest point, on Inner Farne, is 62 feet (19 metres) above mean sea level.

 

In the warmer months the Farnes, an important wildlife habitat, are much visited by boat trips from Seahouses. Local boats are licensed to land passengers on Inner Farne, Staple Island and the Longstone; landing on other islands is prohibited to protect the wildlife. At the right time of year many puffins can be seen and these are very popular with visitors; on the Inner Farne, the arctic terns nest close to the path and will attack visitors who come too close (visitors are strongly advised to wear hats). Some of the islands also support a population of rabbits, which were introduced as a source of meat and have since gone wild. The rabbit and puffin populations use the same burrows at different times, the puffins being strong enough (with a vicious bite) to evict the rabbits from the burrows during the nesting season. The islands also hold a notable colony of about 6,000 grey seals, with several hundred pups born every year in September–November.