BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

13 November 2014

BBC Homepage

Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Related BBC Sites

Contact Us

Your island

You are in: Jersey > People > Your island > National Park for Jersey?

St Ouen's Bay

St Ouen's Bay

National Park for Jersey?

Jersey could be getting its own National Park and islanders are being invited to have their say on the issue.

The panoramic sweep as you descend into St Ouen’s bay is undoubtedly one of the most impressive views Jersey has to offer.

It is one of the few places where people co-exist peacefully with the natural world – a peculiarity recognised as long ago as 1985, when St Ouen won the Civic Trust award.

Only the Napoleonic fortifications at La Pulente and the wartime bunkers left behind by the Nazis hint at the turbulent history of the bay. 

Now the Planning and Environment department is investigating turning parts of St Ouen into a National Park. This would mean the area would be protected and any development on the site would be tightly controlled.

While the proposals have been broadly welcomed by conservationists, concerns have been raised that all building in the area could be blocked.

The Planning and Environment minister, Senator Freddie Cohen, is inviting people to take part in a consultation to see how a National Park could fit into the new island plan.

Le Blanche Banque

Le Blanche Banque

The National Park could potentially include Corbiere headland; Ouaisne heathland, dunes and wetland; and the commons of Portlet and Noirmont to the South; Les Landes and Plemont to the north.

Positive reaction

Senator Cohen is confident the plans will come to fruition, after the positive response to the green paper consultation last year. 

"My intention is to incorporate the national park concept within the island plan and present it to the States at the same time, " he said.

Senator Cohen said, barring any huge problems in terms of what the community wants, he expects to the plan to 'progress very quickly.'

He continued: "The area is a special place and we must have a clear vision on how we pass it on to future generations.

"Granting the area national park status will raise the profile of what we want to protect – be it bio-diversity, building restrictions, or protection of existing buildings.

"There needs to be discussions between the stakeholders, the local community and local businesses on how to set the boundaries.

"I think it will boil down to two or three particular issues, and that is where our efforts will be concentrated." Senator Cohen stressed the importance of people getting involved.

He said: "We will be arranging meetings where we will discuss the issues in a workshop forum.

"If you are going to be affected it is important you contact the environment department and make sure you are included in the consultations."

St Ouen's pond

St Ouen's pond

A place of balance

The prospect of a National Park has delighted the President of the National Trust for Jersey, Mike Stentiford.

Mr Stentiford said: “It is a place of wonderful balance. Around St Ouen’s pond you have migrating African birds in the summertime, and more familiar domestic birds in the winter.”

"It is also home to two very important Sites of Special interest – Le Blanches Banque and Les Landes."

Although National Parks generally need policing, Mr Stentiford believes the infrastructure is already part in place.

Mr Stentiford said: “The SSIs are already managed extremely well by Environment and Planning and the National Trust looks after St Ouen’s pond.

“People underestimate how important having big open spaces is. In the modern stress-filled world it is critical.”

St Ouen

Balanced - St Ouen's Bay

Wrapped in cotton wool

However, the president of the Association of Jersey Architects, Mike Waddington, fears the area may become a "no-go area."

Mr Waddington said: "The benefits of having a national park probably outweigh the drawbacks.

"My only worry is the area will be wrapped in cotton wool. There is a great opportunity to promote eco-tourism through sustainable environmentally sensitive proposals.

"We would be kicking ourselves if we couldn't promote the National Park through things like learning and visitor centres because the development controls were too strict."

Have your say

Does Jersey need a National Park? Would we even notice the difference? Will it just add another layer of red tape to cut through, or is it essential to preserve the area for future generations?

last updated: 03/08/2009 at 13:34
created: 09/02/2009

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Simone from Skipton
last time i came here twice in one year, i never saw any jersey cows anywhere and wonder where they go to in winter a national park would be good and anywhere that encourages wildlife is good

here we go, in this time of fiscal cutbacks, just how many overpaid civil servants will this involve. I thought we were meant to be cutting back.Let it me run by volunteers NOT civil servants

Sue Bisson
What a great idea to protect some of the island for future generations.

yes lets hope dandara dont get the hands into that side off the island too.St ouens should be a national park!! lala

Mother Nature and co.
I am tremendously pleased with the fact that many agree with the national park idea as it would benefit the needs of increasing tourism and wildlife greatly.

Ken Turner
I think that Jersey should have a National Park

yup - totally with the national park idea. An idea with real importance and relevance makes a good change.....hope they implement it now!

Mother Nature and co.
jeresey... what a wonderful place to live. i have lived in a humble abode in st ouens for 70 years and i think that it should not be turned into anything but a national park. i agree that this is a spiffing idea and should certainly take place.Kind regards.

I think that St. Ouens should be a national Park for Jersey. Its green and wonderful landscapes should not be destroyed by the human race. St. Ouens is a beautiful part of the island, it should stay this way as it is relaxing and calm envirnoment.

Yes this is a great idea!

Yes, make it a national park, but make sure that people can still roam freely. I can remember when cars were driven and parked all over the grass - not a good idea. It became much more beautiful when that stopped. Do children still sand toboggan on trays on the Blanche Banque I wonder?

A National Park similar to those that appaear in the UK such as Dartmoor or the lake District would be of great use to protect and conserve the landscape. However, i can't help but wonder if the states will still find some way to get round a national park status in order to build homes. They seem to be able to build anywhere else in the island at their own will.

Captain Fantastic
Can someone tell me when Jersey evolved from an Island to a Nation?Was it the same time as bananas starting appearing of States websites. Surely a Republic is a more fitting for the future?

Mr Lake District
For all you people worrying about whether you'll not be able to walk here or there, as a national park (like snowdonia, lake/peak district) you will still be able to roam a free as the landowner allows (obviously in scotland you can pretty much walk wherever you like. I'm not sure whether the land in st.ouens is public at the moment anyway, so making it a national park should not reduce access

St.Ouens hasn't really changed since the island was formed whenever that was. It took 1 death and another fall just to get railings put up along the seawall. So developments in st.ouen will never be like ones in town, however the current Waterspash is an eye-sore, and should be revamped and developed. The beach is over 3 miles long so I doubt this developement would 'ruin' any panoramic views of the bay unless you were stood inside the building

a national park in Jersey would b great with all the building work going on in St Helier it would be great to have a national park instead of more buildings offices and shops

If you can still do what you can now that I don’t see why not, however I don’t want the dunes to become a no go zone for future generations, I would like them to be enjoyed as I have many a time when I was young.

Alan Braham
Will the people be stopped doing anything that they can at the moment, with regard to being alowed to roam over the entire area on foot, as we are at the moment?

A national park would be a good idea. We just need to ensure no more developments are aloud on the sea front, this can only move to spoil the character of the bay

Lin Haigh
Many years ago my mother campaigned for the St. Ouens Pond area to be maintained as a wetland. She regularly went there with food for the ducks and geese in the winter. I still have the Evening Post article which featured a photo of her with my aunt, surrounded by birds. Though long gone, they would be delighted at this proposal.

Who are these "slanders" that you are hoping to get feedback from?

Do it! With Jersey's continuing building developments we need to start thinking about nature and the future of the Island.We can't let Jersey turn into an unsightly concrete blob in the ocean.

Stephen Le Q
I love the response from the head of the Association of Jersey Architects, what else was he going to say?? haha.The truth is, it is a great idea and should of been done sooner. The only problem is that if the national park idea goes ahead, what happens to the land outside the boundary? Hopefully it will not be more vulnerable to development.

Captain Fantastic
Will the sand pit, golf course, car parks, and commercial buidings be returned to a natural state?The current SSI's do not cover the surroundings of commercial buildings as if it is accepted they will expand.Otherwise a move in the right direction, but we have the tools in place to preserve the Island so why is this extra step needed?

Suzanne Le Brocq
It's too late. Far too much already been allowed in terms of redevelopement, hardly condusive to a National Park

odian samson .st. brelade
I cannot agree more heartly to make these places that Senator Cohen would like to make into a National Park.

You are in: Jersey > People > Your island > National Park for Jersey?

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy