Decline that led to wirebird breeding failures

When the experts from Shelco went to look round the site of their proposed eco-resort on St Helena, they were greeted by one of the locals. A rat. It was evidence – not really needed – that it’s not only people that find Broad Bottom one of the most attractive spots on St Helena. Rattus […]

How photo-blogger told America about island oil disaster

Photographer Andrew Evans arrived on the world’s most remote inhabited island just days after the bulk carrier MS Oliva was shipwrecked, creating an environmental disaster. The ship releasing an oil slick that was to kill hundreds of endangered rockhopper penguins – and for a few days, it went unreported in the world’s media. Evans had […]

Slavery role should boost World Heritage case, says expert

A cave system in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar has been put forward for World Heritage Site status, along with the UK’s famous Forth Bridge. But a member of the original selection panel says St Helena’s own case for the accolade should be looked at again. Dr Mike Pienkowski says new information about its role in […]

Tristan storm ‘worst since 2001 hurricane’

Winds of up to 50 knots have lashed Tristan da Cunha, reports Sarah Glass on the island website. The gales – said to be the worst since the 2001 hurricane that hit the island – wrecked a Wendy house in the children’s playground and caused severe damage to a thatched cottage that was being restored […]

Jamestown jetty plan looks dead in the water

Plans for a breakwater at St Helena’s historic wharf have all-but been scrapped, according to International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell. A permanent jetty is planned instead at Rupert’s Valley, he said. He broke the news at a meeting for Saints and island-watchers at the Jury’s Inn Hotel in Swindon on Saturday 20 May 2012. He said: […]

Endemics for sale: St Helena’s new cash crop?

Some of St Helena’s unique plants could be grown for export to garden centres around the world, it’s been suggested. The idea is put forward in the masterplan for the Wirebird Hills eco-resort at Broad Bottom, which also includes planting endemic species across the 160-hectare site. Growing tree ferns could become a business opportunity for Saints, […]

George Benjamin: the man who saved the St Helena ebony

George Benjamin had already discovered the last surviving St Helena Olive tree when, in 1980, he spotted an unusual plant on a cliff. It turned out to be one of the island’s “lost” endemic plants: the St Helena (dwarf) ebony, now widely re-established on the island. George died on 30 April 2012. BASIL GEORGE has […]

Will this be the site of the world’s greenest hotel?

St Helena’s humble wirebird may help developers create “the world’s greenest hotel” on the mellow slopes of Broad Bottom. Plans for the so-called Wirebird Hills leisure resort – complete with eco-friendly golf course – are going on show on the island after more than a decade of refinement by the St Helena Leisure Corporation (Shelco). […]

‘I survived rat fever. It’s serious’ – Henry’s story

Reports of increasing numbers of rats have caused concern at public meetings on St Helena. They’re a threat to the island’s critically endangered wirebird, but they also pose a serious risk to humans. By the time Henry Thorpe realised he was seriously ill, he could no longer even crawl to the phone to call for […]

Rat claims discounted as pest control staff are laid off

Claims that rats are on the increase across the island have been discounted by St Helena Government (SHG) – just as the number of pest controllers is being halved. Five of the 11 staff who lay bait are to lose their jobs. Councillors have confirmed receiving complaints, but a statement from The Castle says: “There […]