Having had the dubious pleasure of exploring Tresco dump I did then get the far more pleasant opportunity to wander through the Abbey gardens, an incredible variety of sub-tropical plants from South America, Mexico, South Africa, the Canaries and Australia.
The latter half winter has been a relentless procession of low pressures pounding the islands, but low and behold it was a beautiful day. Glorious green foliage and brilliant blue skies.
The gardens have recently introduced some Red Squirrels, an interesting idea probably for the benefit of the paying punters and some press rather than any good conservation reason. I only saw a couple of them near the cafe, getting nuts from a feeding station containing hazelnuts, and just below, a very fat rat! There’s evidence on them in a couple of places around the garden where they have been eating the seeds from pine cones.
In the gardens is a museum of ship figureheads, and there with them is the old burner from the St Agnes lighthouse. This fire burnt every single night for 110 years between 1680 and 1790 before being replaced by oil lamps. There must have been a lot coal lifted to the top of the lighthouse to keep it going. The ash was tipped outside the lighthouse and now forms the fertile garden of its current inhabitant.