Protecting the Peak and Point of St Helena
This week we’re pleased to publish a guest post by Martina Peters. She’s a young Saint who joined the National Trust through Enterprise St Helena’s apprenticeship programme. Today she’s a Trainee Project Manager.
St Helena is one of the world’s most remote inhabited islands and because of this, holds immense ecological importance. Over the last 3 years I’ve been studying and helping to maintain St Helena’s habitat thanks to The Darwin Project funded by DEFRA’s Darwin Initiative. The main focus of the project is to protect two of the island’s ecological important sites: High Peak and Blue Point.
This is part of the central peaks cloud forest, supporting many wetland and high altitude species. Our challenge is to prevent evasive species and rodents from killing endemic plants and invertebrates. This includes protecting the critically endangered Spiky Yellow Woodlouse, whose whole world population is just in this area. Any drastic changes to this habitat could see the extinction of this rare and beautiful creature.
There is also Blue Point which features the last remaining wild Ebony, an island plant once thought to be extinct in the wild. It is also home to many other endemic plants, including the last remaining Scrubwood habitat. Over the years most of these endemics were on the verge of extinction due to invasive animals such as goats and rabbits.
The Darwin Project is worth supporting! It doesn’t just help train apprentices but also gets fellow Saints involved, as well as teaching the importance of nature to primary school children. As always we’re tremendously grateful for the participation of Saints and businesses, especially all the work experience students from Prince Andrew School.