S.K.O.M.E.R. - Sustainablity Knowledge Organised to Manage the Environment Responsibly
Introduction People Place
Skomer: the island
Skomer in material terms is a tiny offshore island situated at the extreme south western edge of Wales.   The island is essesentially a cliff-girt plateau about 200 ft above the sea, which was first occupied by a small group of  prehistoric Celtic farmers.  These pioneering families have left their mark to this day in a network of field walls, tracks, cairns and the  bases  of round houses that are now scarcely visible in a wilderness of bracken. The first version of this web site was created as a tribute to these people living on the edge of a world and  was launched in 1999 on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the island being being declared a national nature reserve.
Skomer Island quickly enters the imagination as a good place to be.  It reminds us more than 'environment' that 'place' exists only after people have imagined it,either through personal contact or by assimilating other people's experiences.  These special imaginative structures of the Earth like Skomer foster a sense of belonging and unify land with its past and present peoples in powerful ways.  They are places of wonderment and the essence of conservation because they enable us to come to value the biophysical elements of  scenery as visual  triggers to relive the past use of land as a real or  imagined spiritual experience.
Islands occupy a special place in our mythologies, often as the scene of mysterious or extraordinary  occurrences. Being cut off from the rest  of the world, they are often depicted as sanctuaries where human contact  can be fled and danger escaped, or as places of  seclusion, where atonement or redemption may be sought.  This is why they are dreamy  places of self-education.
S.K.O.M.E.R: the concept
Through the imaginative transformation of 'space' to 'environment' and 'environment' to 'place' we enter the educational  realm of 'cultural ecology'. This is an interdisciplinary, social concept, which contrasts the old sustainable relations of people to the land with, the present-day worldwide scramble for scarce natural resources and the global environmental damage of unsustainable mass production.  These days, everyone has their own mind map of cultural ecology, whereby sustainability knowledge is organised to manage the environment responsibly. These personal S.K.O.M.E.R projects chart the behavioural changes in the way the flows of materials and ideas between people, ecology and place are managed for continuity between generations.
These life projects define an individual's place in society as the interactions between:
  • 'goods': a human resource, managed scientifically for food,  protection, wealth,  recreation and knowledge;
  • 'nature': a biophysical ecosystem consisting of habitats and species;
  • 'notions': personal spiritual experiences communicated in  words, music and  pictures.
This new version of S.K.O.M.E.R. to celebrate the island's fiftyfith anniversary, in 2014.  It will present the wider lessons of the SKOMER's ecology  as a conservation management system alongside  S.K.O.M.E.R. as a  cross- subject educational framework in cultural ecology.
It is part of the COSMOS project , which is web educational resource dedicated to learning about cultures of sustainability by making multi-subject organised syllabuses.
The unifying concept is 'environmental management', which encompasses environmental knowledge in the following  mind map.  The mind map links goods,  nature and notions through the operation of the basic human  cultural systems of 'food', 'shelter',  'possessions', 'roots' and 'beauty'.
Denis Bellamy
Many of the hyperlinks from the left hand menu are to pdf documents.  
It is essential to have a pdf reader to open these.