The Trust’s only marine reserve, it was bequeathed to them in 2004 by sisters Babs and Evelyn ‘Attie’ Atkins. The Trust has been looking after the island since then and work continues to protect and enhance the beauty of this marine nature reserve. A natural sanctuary for sea and woodland birds, the waters around the island are teaming with life.
The sisters lived there fulltime. When Attie died at the age of 87 her elderly sister Babs was offered a multi-million-pound deal to turn the island into a theme park. She refused and bequeathed the island to Cornwall Wildlife Trust to ensure the protection of the wildlife and continued wild beauty of the place.
The nature reserve is home to many nesting birds such as cormorants, shags and oystercatchers. It has the largest breeding colony in Cornwall of the majestic great black-backed gull. With a wingspan of around 1.5m, this species uses its size to its advantage robbing other sea birds of their catch as a means of obtaining food.
The island is also home to grey seals. With adult males of around 2m long and weighing over 200 kg they are Britain's largest mammal. These spectacular creatures are often seen from the island.