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Put Your Best Foot Forward....And Be Inspired!

Posted: Monday 12th October 2015 by The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust

Why the Whales Came ~ Michael MorpurgoWhy the Whales Came ~ Michael Morpurgo

Autumn is a very special time in Scilly; we are often blessed with Indian summers and this October did not disappoint during its first few days. Walk Scilly Weekend 2015 ran (or should that be walked?) from the 1st to 4th October, taking full advantage of the perfect weather, and was packed with a veritable feast of different walks to suit all ages and abilities. To get a taste of what was on offer continue reading...

Saturday 3rd October 2015 ~ Morpurgo's Bryher

with Issy Tibbs

Saturday's walk took a group, once again, to one of the Off Islands; this time to the "island of many contrasts" Bryher.  The weather was kind and the group saw the smallest of Scilly's inhabited Islands in a fantastic light; shrouded in vibrant Autumn colours and surrounded by stunning calm blue seas and skies.

The "Morpurgo's Bryher" Walk, led by islander Issy Tibbs gave a glimpse into the mind of author Michael Morpurgo and his fascination and love of this inspiring Island.

Issy led the group of sixteen to the Island's church, for the beginning of her walk; pointing out the many lichen covered, granite and slate gravestones bearing familiar Bryher family names, such as Jenkins, Stideford & Weber.

Whilst the group stood taking in the history of the Island's graveyard Issy shared that she had been in contact with Michael Morpurgo and asked him...

"Why do you find Bryher so inspirational?"

Issy then went on to read out the response that she had received:

"I love the place and people. I must have walked every headland, swum from every beach, in every bay, boated in and out of every cove, visited most of the houses, prayed in the church, done line dancing in the community hall, done readings there, watched birds, witnessed the sea in all its moods, got lost in the black of night, in the fog, been driven indoors by driving rain, basked in the sun, eaten Bryher blackberries and sweetcorn and carrots and crabs and mackerel, watched the old fade away, seen new children playing, as each year turns round again."

With the group deep in thought Issy started the walk by taking them past the sheds where the whales had "lived" when not being filmed and showing them the remnants of one of the narwhal "tusks" from "Why the Whales Came".  

Along the coastal path, past Veronica Farm, Bennett's Boatyard, Samson Hill Cottage, around the southern tip of Bryher to Rushy Bay, Droppy Nose Point, past Great Par and finishing the walk near Hell Bay Hotel.

During the walk Issy pointed out where many of Morpurgo's characters had walked, in his books, and expanded on local stories and legends, such as the wreck of the Delaware in 1871 and the discovery of the Iron Age Sword in 1999, which inspired some of Morpurgo's memorable books.

The guided tour ended overlooking Popplestones and Gweal Hill; the group disbanded, making their own way back across the Island in order to catch the boat back to St Mary's and probably start reading, or re-reading, some of the lovely stories written by a man who's heart has clearly been captured by Bryher. 


We would like to offer the following words of thanks to:

  • Walk Scilly (Visit Isles of Scilly) for inviting the Wildlife Trust to join some of their walks and providing tickets;
  • St Mary's Boatman's Association for transporting foragers to and from St Martin's;
  • Issy Tibbs for leading the walk and giving a glimpse into the life of an Islander on Scilly's smallest inhabited Island and her home.

Read The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust's latest blog entries.


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