Scientist moves to island where he is the only inhabitant – and its pub landlord

No noisy neighbours, no crowded commute, no rush-hour jams and no aggro at closing time..

Mat Brown is about to become the sole inhabitant of a remote private island and landlord of its pub.

As warden of Flat Holm Island he will be responsible for monitoring wildlife, welcoming tourists, repairing buildings – and running The Gull and Leek, which has a flock of 70 sheep as its regulars.

The 27-year-old environmental scientist says he cannot wait to get away from it all and crack on with his new job.

He said: “To come to a remote island and escape all of the rush and chaos of modern society – it’s a dream come true, isn’t it? I’ll be happy if I can leave the island better than when I found it.”

The 86-acre island in the Bristol Channel is the most southerly point of Wales, and is where Guglielmo Marconi sent the first radio signal across water.

It has a 1,000ft Grade II-listed lighthouse, gun batteries and two helipads.

Mat already has some experience on the island, having volunteered there over the winter.

He said: “I fell in love with the island. It’s such a healthy place to live.

“It sharpens your skills and is a great place to take your ecological studies to the next level because of the resources all around you with no distractions.

“I am also passionate about sharing the cultural heritage and natural history of the island with visitors.”

Natalie Taylor of Cardiff Harbour Authority, which oversees the island, said: “We are delighted Mat has taken on this challenge. It will be a demanding and rewarding experience.”

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