Nature and Wildlife
Jersey’s natural environment has been shaped by the Island’s mild temperate climate and geographical position between the UK and Continental Europe.
Given its size, Jersey is blessed with an incredible diversity of wild habitats and native species. The Island’s mild climate and geographical position between England and France make it a crossroads for wildlife, with plants and animals typical of Continental Europe, such as Green Lizards and Agile Frogs, coexisting alongside species commonly found in more northerly regions.
The National Trust for Jersey cares for a significant number of locally important nature conservation sites across the Island, managing them specifically for the benefit of local wildlife. Among the most important of our sites is La Mare au Seigneur (St Ouen’s Pond), legally designated as a local Site of Special Interest in recognition of its incredibly diverse mosaic of habitats and associated species. Since the Trust acquired this site in 1975 management works have enhanced its wildlife value. For example, Wild Orchids have increased from approximately 8500 in 2000 to over 60,000 today. In addition, rotational reed bed management has significantly enhanced bird life, benefitting species such as the iconic Marsh Harrier. Other management measures that we regularly implement include planting hedgerows, constructing wildlife ponds, controlling non-native and overly dominant species, and actively managing woodland.
Through the Birds on the Edge project, a partnership between the Trust, the States of Jersey Department of Environment and Durrell, we are championing the protection of declining farmland bird species such as the Skylark and Stonechat. Major successes stemming from this partnership include the successful reintroduction of the Chough, the establishment of a conservation grazing flock of Manx Loaghtan sheep, and the annual sowing of winter conservation bird crops on agricultural fields.
Despite the success stories, Jersey’s natural environment remains under threat. Inappropriate development and agricultural intensification are putting increasing pressure on our local wildlife and natural resources. The ongoing decline of once common species such as Toads and Puffins further illustrates the importance of our work and your continued support.