New Island owes its modern role as a centre for conservation and science to the vision, commitment and generosity of the late Ian Strange MBE.
He spent many years pursuing a dream to transform New Island from a sheep farm into a nature reserve.
In 1995 Ian founded the New Island Conservation Trust, and transferred ownership of his (southern) half of the island to the Trust. In 2006 the Trust was able to purchase the northern half of the island from the then owner, Tony Chater, and since that time has owned and managed the whole of New Island.
Falklands Conservation was launched in 1991, and works across the archipelago to conserve the natural environment of the Falkland Islands, through a combination of conservation research, community engagement, and on-the-ground conservation action. In July 2020 Falklands Conservation merged with the New Island Conservation Trust to build on the experiences of both organisations; starting a new chapter for New Island.
In recent years substantial progress has been made in overhauling the island’s management and infrastructure. This has included the construction of new accommodation for the resident managers, modernisation of the Field Station, refurbishment of visitor accommodation, improvements to telecommunications, power and water supply and to the airstrip, and the construction of a new Nissen Hut for storage and workshop space. Visitors are actively encouraged, with accessibility improved for Falkland Islands residents and growth in expedition cruise ships visits warmly welcomed.
The island had been managed for many years by dedicated conservationists, firstly Ian Strange and his family, and then by the New Island Conservation Trust. In 2020 it was agreed that the effective future management of New Island would be best served by the merger of the New Island Conservation Trust with Falklands Conservation. The merger took effect from 1 July 2020, and Falklands Conservation (incorporating the New Island Conservation Trust) is now responsible for strategy, policies, overall direction, finances and key management decisions relating to New Island.
The day-to-day activities at New Island are overseen by wardens who are resident on the island year-round. New wardens, John and Alison Barton, will be arriving in September 2020.
New Island has benefited over many years from the generosity of the Geoffrey C Hughes Trust. The late Geoffrey Hughes visited New Island on a cruise ship and was captivated by the island and the conservation work undertaken by Ian Strange.
The Geoffrey C Hughes Trust has supported New Island over many years, making possible the original purchase of the southern part of the island from Ian Strange, the construction of the Field Station to house scientific research, and the subsequent purchase of the northern half of the island from Tony Chater.
The other principal source of income is from visitors on cruise ships, visitors on private yachts, self-catering visitors, visiting film crews and visiting scientists. More information about visiting New Island and charges can be found on the “Visiting, contacts and links” page.
The Geoffrey C Hughes Trust has now been wound up. While in recent years it has been possible to balance income and basic running costs (i.e. excluding capital expenditure), the future development of conservation work on New Island will make fundraising a growing priority. We are extremely grateful for donations to our work on New Island both large and small. More information about how you can support our work is available on the Supporting New Island and Donate pages.