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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Island to Island – New book shares the highs and lows of managing a nature reserve in paradise

Sally Mills and partner, Melvyn, swap their life in Somerset and embark on an adventure of a lifetime managing a nature reserve on a remote island in the Seychelles. Living amongst a million seabirds and some of the rarest wildlife in the world for twenty months, Island to Island is their story.

A delicious, illustrated natural history/travel novel, Sally Mills retells her twenty-month adventure with honesty and detail that reminds us that even paradise has its own set of challenges.

In an environment that tested her 25 years of conservation management experience (predominantly working with the RSPB) to its limits, this debut author tells of the wonderment of living amongst a million seabirds and some of the planet’s rarest wildlife, juxtaposed against the challenges of living without electricity or running water and with only six other humans for company. Fully appreciating the privileged position she and her partner, Melvyn, found themselves in, Island to Island is not only a great read but a celebration of the island’s wildlife – from turtles to terns.

An honest and authentic account (which the author also illustrated) of an adventure that most of us can, sadly, only dream about, Island to Island will find an instant readership in fans of natural history and wildlife. It is also an inspirational read for globetrotting and armchair adventurers alike.


Swapping Somerset security for tropical tempestuousness, Island to Island portrays a rare insight into a dynamic and challenging, yet privileged existence living amongst a million seabirds and some of the rarest wildlife in the world.

A nature lover’s dream, to manage a tropical island nature reserve in Seychelles, just one mile long by half a mile wide, six nautical miles from the mainland, with no electricity or running water. However, from star-filled skies to merciless monsoons, deadly pisonia to devastating poaching, turbulent seas to tumultuous staff, existence became dominated by an eclectic mix of emotional turmoil.

The author says:

“Whilst my illustrated novel portrays the drama and life changing experiences of living by nature in a tropical paradise - with a limited food supply and no modern conveniences, it also explores the highs, lows, and dynamics of such a rare ecological ecosystem. It reveals how influential external factors can be in such an environment; from natural phenomena to the consequences of human actions, together with the dangerous unforeseen cocktails that can be produced when the two are combined. Island to Island is a rare insight into the impacts that people can have on the natural environment, and the key role that we as a species play in the conservation of these delicate, precious and very beautiful communities that I feel so privileged to have witnessed first-hand.

The novel is dedicated to my father, who believed in me, encouraged me, and enabled me to flourish. After all, as his daughter, I was in his eyes a bobby-dazzler. As an expression of humble recognition and gratitude, the funds raised through sales will be donated to St Kentigern’s Hospice, who I can never thank enough for the sensitive and compassionate care they gave him.”

Published by Cranthorpe Millner Publishers, Island to Island: From Somerset to Seychelles (ISBN: 978-1- 80378-041-2) is published on 23rd August 2022 and is available in paperback (£10.99) and Kindle format.


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