The French island of Quéménès, near the country’s north-west coast, is in many ways a desolate place. Icy waves crash against a rocky shore and fierce storms lash the across the treeless land in winter. Nine miles from the mainland and just under a mile long, the island would seem to be a daunting place to live, let alone run a working farm. But that’s exactly what one family have done over the past decade.
So what would make someone leave their old life behind to spend years as the only inhabitants of an isolated island? Well, as the Cuisniers, who are the soon-to-depart current tenants of the island, explained to the BBC, “Coming here was an act of glorious folly. But it turned into the most wonderful adventure. We developed the farm into a successful business. We raised a family. It has been unforgettable.”
This is not the first time farming has been practiced on the island, however. People have lived on Quéménès since Neolithic times. And from 1953 a farmer called Henri Tassin ran a profitable farm there harvesting seaweed. He also raised livestock, not unlike the Cuisniers. During this period the island was home to 30 people. By the time the Cuisniers arrived, however, the island had been abandoned for 25 years.