Flat Holm Island is to be the setting for a Countryfile episode which will be broadcast this Sunday, February 17 at 11am on BBC1.
The programme will feature stories about the possibility of a Severn Barrage and how it would work, the concerns of environmental groups regarding a proposed renewable scheme of this size and the history and current use of Flat Holm, which is just five miles off the Cardiff coast.
Flat Holm Island is a local nature reserve, a site of special scientific interest and is steeped in history as it was previously home to monks, Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, silver miners and cholera victims. It is also famous for receiving the first ever radio message across water sent by Marconi in 1897.
The island is a haven for wildlife and home to one of the largest colony of gulls in Wales. Other animals on the island include shelduck, slow worms and George the tortoise.
The BBC television crew and presenter John Craven boarded the boat for Flat Holm Island in the dark, early hours of yesterday (Tuesday) morning. With only a small window of opportunity for filming - the team were at the mercy of the weather and the tides. John Craven, who has visited thousands of locations across the British Isles and abroad with Countryfile said: "The elements were working in our favour, so we were able to get across to the island and back again at high tide. What the island lacks in size, it more than makes up for with its fascinating history and continuous use over many centuries.
"The fact there was a working farm on this tiny Welsh island for more than 700 years is amazing. Being cut off from the mainland has in no way diminished it's character or heritage. It will be great to see the Flat Holm project team and volunteers reinstating a working traditional farm in the future.
"I think it's wonderful that such a small piece of land has such a rich history and to meet people who are genuinely enthusiastic about sharing that with the public. The use of the original Victorian water tank to collect fresh water for the island and its visitors is just one example of the sustainable and thoughtful way the project is being managed - linking history with the present and future of Flat Holm.
"Flat Holm offers a haven for all kinds of flora and fauna and the continuing conservation work there will ensure its success for generation to come." BBC Director Kate Hollingsworth said: "The island was great - luckily we were able to get to the island and back and stick to our tight filming schedule, thanks to the organisation of the Flat Holm team and of course some good weather! Flat Holm is an important part of next week's programme so we were really pleased to get across.
"It was a bit of a whistle-stop tour, and we were spoilt for choice in terms of what we could talk about and film, there's so much there!"
Guided tours of the island are available for most of the year. Visitor trips for 2008 are scheduled to begin on March 14 and sail most weekends and various weekdays until the end of October. The sailing schedule can be found at www.cardiff.gov.uk/flatholm.
To book a place on a guided visitor trip please call 029 2035 3917.