Moyenne island from the sea by Jean-Francis Martin
|Area||0.089 km2 (0.034 sq mi)|
|Density||11 /km2 (28 /sq mi)|
Moyenne Island is a small island (0.089 km2 or 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, a former newspaper editor, originally from Dewsbury in Yorkshire, England.
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 operated 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 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 around 120 giant tortoises. The eldest, Desmond, is 76 years old, according to Grimshaw in 2012. He named the tortoise after his godson.
There are rumours [according to whom?] that pirate treasure is buried on the island. Grimshaw made two major digs and found some evidence of man-made hiding places, but no gold or other treasure has been found as of 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. His father was also buried on the island.
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 Ste. 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.
Grimshaw died in Victoria, Mahe, in July 2012.
- "An 86-year-old, real-life Robinson Crusoe". BBC News. 29 April 2012.
- "How to Buy Your Own Private Island". 2012-05-16. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- Reeve, Simon (2012-04-26). "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).
- "Moyenne island declared a national park". Retrieved 2013-10-15.
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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