Acklington WI, January meeting

ISLAND LIFE: Acklington WI’s first meeting of 2012 was opened by the president welcoming members and eight guests, including five gentlemen, who had joined us to hear a talk given by Dr Paul Morrison, RSPB warden for Coquet Island.

Paul started by giving some of the history of the island which is still owned by the Duke of Northumberland and leased to the RSPB, with slides showing the remains of a monastery and cottages once occupied by the families of the lighthouse keepers.

This must have been a very hard life as there is no fresh water on the island and even today it has to be taken by boat from Amble. The lighthouse is now fully-automated and the only residents are RSPB wardens, volunteers and thousands of birds during the nesting season.

Slides showing the hard work needed to keep the island in good shape for the birds, many extremely rare, and of course the pictures of the birds themselves, gave some of us the inspiration to brave the boat trip from Amble to view the man-made terraces of puffin nest boxes for ourselves.

A vote of thanks was given by Isabella Telford.

This had followed the business part of the meeting when names were taken for teams to the indoor bowls and the Federation quiz, both in March.

Following a delicious pooled supper, Paul judged the competition for a bird photo awarding first to Wilma Nicoll, second to Moira Peden and third to Linda Aston.

The February meeting will be Beyond Belief with Mr and Mrs Gilbert. Visitors will be most welcome.