“Plateau” in Seychelles refers to the flat ground between the hill and the sea. Originally with deep soils and dense forest, the first settlers felled the big trees for timber. Today, the original high forest is regenerating. The plateau soil was probably also excavated for guano, a prized resource a century ago. The most useful plant was the Coconut (1) which was planted all over the plateau and much of the hill, but today has been restricted to the beach crest, its natural habitat. The nuts were gathered and the dried flesh (called copra) was extracted for its oils. Nuts soon germinate to form coconut seedlings (2). The big, fleshy root of the Indian Yam (3) was used for pig food, and bananas (4) and pawpaws were introduced as food crops. Note the wild climbing plant Peponium (5) which may be an endemic species unique to Aride. Land birds include Madagascar Turtle Dove (6) native to Seychelles, but Zebra Dove (7) came to the Indian Ocean from Malaysia via Mauritius. The Madagascar Fody (8) may have come as a cage bird; it is now the Seychelles’ “sparrow”, occurring on almost every island. The Seychelles Magpie-robin (9), endemic to Seychelles, is one of the rarest birds in the world, though it once occurred on most of the granitic islands. It has been reintroduced to Aride under a scheme to try and establish another population. The replanting of native trees on Aride has restored much of the plateau forest, which is required habitat. This also benefits the Seychelles Warbler (10), 29 of which were translocated from Cousin Island, at one time its last stronghold, and released here in 1988. It is now well established, a real conservation success story. The webs of the huge (but harmless) invertebrate Palm Spider (11) are conspicuous. All over the plateau, the ground is alive with reptiles, especially scurrying lizards, the largest of which is the Wright’s Skink (12). The skinks feed on insects, fruit, even fallen fish brought in by seabirds. Should the eggs or chicks of seabirds like the Fairy Tern (13) fall from their precarious perches, the skinks will eat these too.