Size: 15.6 hectares

% of total area of SSSI's: 3.84

Designated features: Heather and geology

General Description

This small uninhabited island lying on the north-west side of St Martin’s is important for its geology, maritime heathland, grassland and breeding seabirds. The geology provides a visual sequence of the igneous deposits made during the Pleistocene period in the Isles of Scilly. The thin overlying soils and the harsh maritime environment has led to the development of the classic ‘waved’ heath, dominated by Heather and Bell Heather. Other heathland plants include Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Heath Bedstraw and English Stonecrop. The small areas of short maritime turf, particularly on the north-facing slopes are important for lichens, including nationally rare species such as Heterodermia japonica, H. Leucomela and Rinodina roboris var. armeriicola reside amongst pink Thrift and Common Scurvygrass. 4 species of breeding seabird are present including; Lesser and Greater Black-backed gulls, Herring Gull and a small population of Fulmars.

Practical Management 

Monitoring the numbers of seabirds and the quality of heathland and maritime grassland areas for encroachment by native invasive species such as Bracken is carried out. There are also ad hoc visits to clear marine debris, particularly marine plastics which are known to have a detrimental effect on our marine life.