Heritage expert James Edwards has supported calls for a UK based public trust to step in and purchase the island of Flat Holm in the Bristol Channel before it is sold in to private ownership.

James Edwards said: “The coastline around Wales and the West Country is dotted with small but historically and environmentally significant islands such as Flat Holm and it is vital the public at large retain the right to visit and study them. We should be encouraging well respected bodies such as the National Trust or the Landmark Trust to take over the site and ensure it remains an exciting and valued destination for very many tourists each year.”

The island plays host to visitors via regular ferry crossings from both South Wales and Weston-Super-Mare. It has its own working lighthouse, a scattering of buildings including a pub and gift shop, as well as residential accommodation and its own warden.

Edwards concluded: “The heritage contained on this one island is huge and there is a risk that through private ownership, this heritage may be lost to the wider public. It is probably a case of not knowing the value of what you have got until it is gone. There is always a risk that if it is sold into private ownership it will close its doors to the public for good.”