The Isle of May has existed for thousands of years, it is just a big lump of rock that doesn’t change, just what is on its surface. Or so you would think but walking around the island after being off for the winter gives me a chance to spot changes and differences.
For instance there has been a big rock fall on the cliffs in Pilgrims Haven behind the Angel. The picture above shows the scar of red rock left where rocks the size of a small lorry dropped off the cliff. What is amazing is that there is very little debris at the base of the cliff, the winter storms have magicked away or broken down all that rock.
Also at Pilgrims Haven, about half the beaches big round pebbles have disappeared. For the southern half of the beach it is down to bedrock. Another name for the beach is Chatterstanes as the pebble make that noise in a storm. Well if this carries on the beach will need to be renamed.
Just along from the big rock fall is another rock the size of a sofa just hanging on. The winter storms, rain and ice have all helped to break it away from the cliff but not quite enough for it to fall.
It all goes to show that even a big bit of rock is constantly changing, Erosion is taking chunks off the island each year while the tidal and wave power of the sea and currents are also shifting around the results of the erosion. Each spring when we come back onto the island we can see pale patches on the west cliffs where flakes of rock, large and small have broken off leaving fresh scars. It makes you wonder how long the sea stack, the Angel will stay standing with such a heavy column supported on a small base.
Another change that is directly attributable to man is our new solar panels, fitted in early March to supplement our existing bank of panels. These will help to reduce our diesel usage and the hope is that in the future any excess power generated can be used as heat in the cottages. Now that would be very welcome.