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The Old Light, Lundy

Lundy is an island in the Bristol Channel of Great Britain. It is about halfway between the South Wales and Devon coasts. It is about 4.5 km long from north to south by 1 km wide, and is the largest island in the Bristol Channel.

Table of contents
1 History and ownership
2 Transport to Lundy
3 Economy
4 Lundy stamps
5 Birds
6 Mammals
7 Plant life
8 Geology
9 Archaeology
10 External Links

History and ownership

Lundy is part of Great Britain, and is located administratively in the county of Devon. Historically the home of French and other pirates, it passed from aristocratic ownership to private ownership in the 19th century. In 1969 it became a part of the National Trust.

Transport to Lundy

There is a regular ferry service, operating from Bideford or Ilfracombe depending on the state of the tides, and charter helicopter service from Barnstaple in Devon.


Tourism and postage stamps are the main parts of Lundy's economy. It is also used as a site for scientific research, and the south end of the island is operated as a farm. There are two working lighthouses on the island (and one historic disused one), so Trinity House staff also work on the island from time to time.

Lundy stamps

M. C. Harman, owner of the island of Lundy in the early decades of the 20th century issued private coinage and postage stamps for local use. Although the island was ruled as a virtual fiefdom, its owner never claimed to be independent of the United Kingdom, so this can at best be described as a precursor to later territorial micronations.


Lundy's name is derived from the Norse lunde for the puffins that nest on the island. However, the numbers of these has decreased dramatically in recent years as a consequence of depredations by rats and possibly of commercial fishing for sand eels, the puffin's principal prey.

As a fairly isolated island on major migration routes, Lundy has a rich bird life and is a popular site for birdwatching. The list of species breeding on the island is long, and the list of those that have been seen on the island much longer. However among the commonest or most visible breeding species are:


Lundy is home to an unusual range of mammals, almost all introduced at some time. They include:
The usual farm animals can be added to this list. There is a distinct Lundy breed of pony.

Plant life

There is one endemic plant species, the Lundy Cabbage. The east side of the island has become overgrown by rhododendrons; constant but unavailing attempts are made to remove them. They are used as a daytime shelter by the sika deer.


The island is composed of a unique form of granite called Lundyite


There are a number of archaeological sites on the island including some ancient graves.

External Links

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