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Image: Tom Marshall
Coquet Island is an RSPB reserve about one mile off Amble, Northumberland. It is home to a large colony of nesting seabirds and is specially protected under European Law for birds such as the roseate tern, one of our rarest nesting seabirds. Coquet now holds 90 per cent of the UK's roseate tern population. Several thousand nesting Sandwich, Arctic and common terns accompany the roseates in May, June and July, and thousands of puffins occupy the main part of the island. Like many places in Northumberland, the reserve is rich in human history and has been occupied since the 7th Century, initially as a monastic cell, later a lighthouse station and now by the RSPB wardens, who live on the island through the spring and summer. Birds are everywhere on Coquet and the plateau and gardens are home to several hundred nesting eider ducks. For this reason, the island is designated as a sanctuary and the public are not allowed to land. But you can also enjoy close-up views of the birds by taking a boat trip around the island on a charter boat.