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Gallery 1 > North-East of England > Farne Islands 2, Northumberland

01.  A Staple Diet On Staple Island


02.  Incoming! PuffIn With Sand Eels


03.  An Arctic Tern Prepares To Attack


04.  Big Hitters In Action, Staple Island

17.  Puffins, Staple Island


18.  Razorbill, Staple Island  


19.  A Puffin Above Burrows, Staple Island


20.  Shag Chick

13.  Arctic Tern Chick, Church Grounds, Inner Farne


14.  Tern Attack, Inner Farne


15.  Puffin In Flight, Staple Island


16.  Arctic Terns Double Up On Inner Farne

09.  Shag & Chick On The Nest


10.  Colonies On The Rocks, Staple Island


11.  A Family Of Arctic Terns


12.  Arctic Tern In Flight, Pinnacle Rock

05.  Arctic Tern Above Nest Site, Inner Farne


06.  Puffin Watch, Staple Island


07.  Flight Of The Guillemot


08.  Female Eider Duck

21.  Shags At Nest Site, Staple Island


22.  A Twitcher In Action, Staple Island


23.  A Colony Of Guillemots


24.  Puffins On The Rocks, Inner Farne

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.

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