La Mare Vineyard
Constructed from Jersey’s famous pink granite
the farmhouse dates back to 1797, but it was only in 1972 that Mr. Bob Blaney planted Jersey’s first commercial vineyard. There are now twenty
acres of grapes and several acres of orchard from which they produce
Jersey Apple Brandy. They also use the apples to make Jersey Black
Butter which is much nicer than it sounds and confusingly isn’t butter
at all – more like an apple and liquorice jam. Tours for the public run
Mon to Saturday between April and October. (Tel: 01534 481 178
Common Whitlow Grass
Many hundreds of millions of years ago, Jersey did not
exist as we know it today. The Island was mostly on flat ground at the
base of a volcano, in those days it was possible to walk to what is now
France, and this area now known as the Bay of Mont St. Michel was under
constant violent volcanic eruptions. Life form was at it's most
uninhibited. Half a billion years ago, Jersey was part of a
towering range of mountains, extending across most of north-west France.
Nothing much grew in this area because of the flash
floods, they were also the cause of the present shape of these coasts. The area
of Rozel Bay is a good example of volcanic
eruptions. Eighteen thousand years ago the Islands now known as the
Channel Islands were close to a vast ice sheet, just 200 miles to the
north. The sea level was 100 meters lower than today. The Islands were
surrounded by bare wasteland. Sea levels have varied
dramatically during last 100 million years. When the sea was 90 meters
higher than the present level all that was visible of Jersey was an area
called Les Platons. The sea settled to near its present level around ten
thousand years ago. There are rocky outcrops to the north east (The
Ecrehous) and the south (The Minquiers) these are accessible by boat.
The Ecrehous has 33 houses and the Minquiers has a couple of fisherman's
Les Landes is Jersey's largest area of maritime heath land.
It's rugged coast faces north-west. This land is of special interest, it
is covered in Gorse and Heather, there are around two hundred species of
plants at Les Landes, including, Western Gorse,
Thrift, Horseshoe Vetch,
Common Whitlow Grass,
Heather, Bell Heather etc... It is also the ideal habitat for the
Britain's rarest resident warbler prefers low, thick gorse to provide
secure nesting and cover for the winter months. At certain times of the
year you will also see occasional visitors such as the Peregrine Falcon,
Short-Eared Owl, Marsh Harriers,
Stonechat, Meadow Pipit,
Kestrel and the Skylark. This area is ideal for walking and breathing
fresh sea air. It is situated at the top of high cliffs. Vehicles are
prohibited from the area of Les Landes. Part of Les Landes is a horse
racing course, and you will also find the field for the Model Aircraft
Les Mielles in contrast to Les Landes, is a low lying
area of sand dunes and marshes, it stretches the full length of the west
of Jersey, from L'Etacq at the base of Les Landes cliffs to La Pulente
on the southern end of St. Ouen's Bay. The dunes are open to the public
for long or short rambles, the last one I did here with my family was 5
hours long, this area is a site of special interest. More than 400 plant
species have been identified here. Sixteen are recorded in the British
Red Data book, as nationally endangered species.
The remains of centuries of fortifications can still
be found at Les Mielles, including the more recent German bunkers which
run the whole length of the bay.
Coastal & inland birds
There are many migrating and permanent resident birds species
on and around the Island including the Skylark, sadly diminishing in numbers every year. There
are also Kestrels, Eagle Owls and Barn Owls, although these can
also be seen inland.
Other birds to be seen are:
Meadow Pipits, goldfinches, Bullfinches and Linnets, if you don't see
them you can certainly hear them. Swallows, Swifts, Wagtails, House
Martins, Lapwings, Puffins, Fulmars,
Oystercatchers, Shags, Razorbills, Little Stints, Dunlin, Snow Buntings,
Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Brent Geese and
many other more common birds can be seen around the Island.
There is a
fascinating world rarely explored in the shallow seas surrounding
Jersey, these areas are visited by divers and snorkellers. Because the
island is the most southerly part of the Channel Islands, the sea
temperatures are usually higher than elsewhere around Britain.
Consequently, a number of sea species that are rarely found in Britain
are found here in Jersey. Among these are: Tompot Blenny, Tube Worm, Sun
Star, Red Gurnard, Short Mouthed Seahorse, Conger Eel, Chancre Crab
(very tasty), Plaice, Sea Scorpion, Sea Slugs, Jewel Anemone, Candy Striped
Flatworm, Boring Sponge, Trigger Fish, Devonshire Cup Coral among others
we also see quite regularly schools of Bottle Nose Dolphins.
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Copyright © 2000-
If we show we can help and
make life fair.
If we protect the wildlife
and show that we care.
If we stop the pollution, put
our litter in the bin.
If we begin to appreciate the
Island we live in.
If we do all these things we
will soon see...
That Jersey is a wonderful place
Words by pupils of d'Hautrée School
The Famous Jersey Cow
Adult, male Dartford warbler
Adult, female Marsh Harrier