Island life

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Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour (01202 707744). On this island of heath and wildlife, you can expect to see red squirrels and many different species of birds. There are plenty of walks and an excellent view of Poole Harbour from the island. Catch a boat from Poole Quay, Bournemouth or Sandbanks. Accessible 1 April-4 October 10am-5pm and until 6pm during July and August. Adults pounds 2.40, child pounds 1.20, family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) pounds 6.

Farne Islands, Northumberland (01665 721099). Here you'll see (hopefully) puffins, eider ducks, tern and more. There is also a colony of seals on the island. Open 1 April-30 September. During May-July, access is limited. If you are visiting Inner Farne, you are advised to wear a hat. May-July pounds 3.90 and at other times pounds 3. No boats land in heavy weather.

Hilbre Island Local Nature Reserve, c/o Wirral Country Park Centre, Wirral (0151-648 4371). The Hilbre Island is a high-tide roost for wading birds and a resting place for many migrating birds. Access is by foot at low tide, but be careful, as there are dangerous tides by the estuary. Admission is free and if there are more than five in a group, then phone the reserve beforehand on 0151-648 4371

Skokholm Island Nature Reserve, off south-west coast of Pembrokeshire (01437 765462). Storm petrels, oyster catchers, puffins, razorbills - this is one of the most important seabird-breeding sites in Europe. You may also see grey seals, porpoises and dolphins. Boats here leave from Martinshaven and take about 40 minutes, but be warned - it can get very choppy.

Starting this year there will be short breaks, weekend breaks and week- long stays, with theme breaks like art courses, available. There is also a Bed and Breakfast on the island. The island is open between April and the end of September.

Sarah-Jane Wakefield