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Moyenne island from the sea by Jean-Francis Martin
|Area||0.089 km2 (0.0344 sq mi)|
|Density||11 /km2 (28 /sq mi)|
Moyenne Island is a small island (0.089 km2/0.034 sq mi) in the Ste Anne Marine National Park off the north coast of Mahé, Seychelles. Since the 1970s it has been a flora and fauna reserve. From 1915 until the 1970s, the island was abandoned until its purchase by Brendon Grimshaw, an English newspaper editor. Grimshaw was the only inhabitant of the island until his death in July 2012. Currently the island is a National Park and can be visited as part of organized trips.
Brendon Grimshaw purchased the island for £8,000 in 1962 and set about making the island habitable. He did this with the help of one other man, Rene Antoine Lafortune. They operate the island as a nature reserve, charging visitors €12 to come ashore, roam the island, dine at the "Jolly Roger" restaurant and relax on the beach. Grimshaw and his friend planted sixteen-thousand trees, built 4.8 kilometres (3.0 mi) of nature paths, and brought and bred giant land tortoises, creating an island of incredible beauty now worth 34 million Euros. Apart from a wide variety of plant and bird life, the island is home to 109 giant land tortoises. The eldest, Desmond, is 76 years old, according to Grimshaw. He named the tortoise after his godson.
There are rumours [according to whom?] that over £30m of pirate treasure is buried on the island. Grimshaw has made two major digs and found some evidence of man-made hiding places, but no gold or other treasure has been found as yet. There are two graves on the island which have been said to be [according to whom?] those of pirates, although this cannot be confirmed.
After 20 years of persistence, Grimshaw and his assistant Lafortune achieved their goal of making Moyenne Island a National Park in its own right, separate to that of the St. Anne marine park. Now known as the Moyenne Island National Park, it harbours more species per square foot than any other part of the world. The island is 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) away from the main island of Mahe.
Brendon died in July 2012.
- "An 86-year-old, real-life Robinson Crusoe". BBC News. 29 April 2012.
- "How to Buy Your Own Private Island". 16-05-2012. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- Reeve, Simon. "By 'eck! It's Yorkshire's Robinson Crusoe: Brit who bought a cut-price island in the Seychelles 50 years ago... and still lives in blissful solitude with 120 giant tortoises". Daily Mail (London).
Media related to Moyenne at Wikimedia Commons
- A Grain of Sand: a free documentary about Moyenne Island and Brendon Grimshaw
- A Grain of Sand - Official Site
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