Agriculture: Skomer Island Archive

The Old Farmhouse ruin, seen today in the centre of the Island, dates from about 1840 but a similarly substantial house is first thought to have been built on the site around 1700.

The slightly thicker soils in this part of the Island, and access to water from North Valley enabled a range of crops to be grown, and large fields were established around the farm with long straight stone wall boundaries. There are records of the farm supporting three families at one stage with cows and sheep grazing the Island, as well as horses to help with the heavy work.

Notable contributors to the island's agricultural heritage include:
 - William Robinson, from 1846 to 1861
 - Vaughan Palmer Davies, from 1861 to 1892
 - Reuben Codd, from 1930 to 1950

Farming was largely abandoned after the outbreak of the First World War and all agriculture on the island finally ended in 1950. In 1959 the Island was bought for the nation by the Nature Conservancy (the Government department that became the Countryside Council for Wales) helped by the West Wales Field Society (the charity that became the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales). It was declared one of the country’s first National Nature Reserves.

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