Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Yorkshireman Brendon Grimshaw

Moyenne Island is a small island (0.089 km2/0.034 sq mi) in the Ste Anne Marine National Park off the north coast of Mahé, Seychelles. Since the 1970s it has been a flora and fauna reserve. From 1915 until the 1970s, the island was abandoned until its purchase by Brendon Grimshaw, an English newspaper editor. Currently he is the only permanent resident of Moyenne and is responsible for returning the island to its former natural state Brendon Grimshaw purchased the island for £8,000 in 1962 and set about making the island habitable. He did this with the help of one other man, Rene Antoine Lafortune. They operate the island as a nature reserve, charging visitors €12 to come ashore, roam the island, dine at the "Jolly Roger" restaurant and relax on the beach. Grimshaw and his friend planted sixteen-thousand trees, built 4,8 kilometers of nature paths, and brought and bred giant land tortoises, creating an island of incredible beauty now worth 34 million Euros. Apart from a wide variety of plant and bird life, the island is home to over 100 land tortoises. The eldest, Desmond, is 76 years old according to Grimshaw. He named the tortoise after his godson. There are rumours that over £30m of pirate treasure is buried on the island. Grimshaw has made two major digs and found some evidence of man-made hiding places, but no gold or other treasure has been found as yet. There are two graves on the island which have been said to be those of pirates, although this cannot be confirmed After 20 years of persistence, Grimshaw and his assistant Lafortune achieved their goal of making Moyenne Island a National Park in its own right, separate to that of the St. Anne marine park. Now known as the Moyenne Island National Park, it is the smallest national park in the world, harbouring more species per square foot than any other part of the world. The island is 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) away from the main island of Mahe.

No comments:

Post a Comment