During the spring and summer months Jersey is transformed by the vibrant colours of its native wildflowers. Among the most spectacular are the Wild Orchids found in The National Trust for Jersey’s ‘Orchid Fields’ at Le Noir Pré in St Ouen’s Bay and La Blinerie in Grouville.
The Trust are inviting islanders to spend some of their daily exercise time during this special Bank Holiday weekend to get out, get some fresh air and marvel at the wonderful sight of these stunning blooms at either site in the west or the east of the Island, depending on where people live.
Le Noir Pré and Clos de Seigneur
Le Noir Pré and Clos de Seigneur are wet marshy meadows in the parish of St Ouen. Situated next to each other these meadows are commonly referred to as the ‘Orchid Fields’. From May through June the meadows are a riot of colour, as the flower spikes of three species of orchid (and various hybrids) unfurl their exotic petals.
The Le Noir Pré and Clos de Seigneur meadows have become incredibly important reserves for native orchids and have been managed over many years to maintain the exceptional floral diversity present. This is achieved by hay cutting every August after the orchids have flowered and dispersed their seeds and then allowing a small herd of Jersey cows to graze the meadows.
In 1995 there were 1,500 individual orchids. Numbers have now risen to an estimated 60,000 individuals, attracting botanists and nature lovers from all over Europe to St Ouen’s Bay.
The Trust also manages two lesser known wet meadows off Rue de la Blinerie. These lie on the fringes of a larger wetland ecosystem known as the Samares or Rue de Pres wetland, consisting of reed bed, fen and wet woodland. Both Loose Flowered Orchids and Southern Marsh Orchids can be found in the meadows.
Information on the Wild Orchids is available to download on www.nationaltrust.je/activity-hub
Le Noir Pré, is on Le Chemin de L’Ouziere which branches inland from the Five Mile Road in St Ouen’s Bay. The orchid field will remain open until mid-June while the Loose Flowered Orchid, Spotted Orchids and Southern Marsh Orchid are in bloom.
La Blinerie – Due to no available parking, Le Don Obbard is only accessible by foot or bicycle along Rue du Coin, which boarders both parishes of Grouville and St Clement. Footpath will also be open until mid-June. Access routes will be signposted.
The National Trust Lands Manager, Jonny Parkes commented
‘We are really pleased we are still be able to open up these nature reserves at this daunting and uncertain time. For anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to see the wild orchids before, now is the perfect time to see these extraordinary wetland habitats at their very best. You won’t be disappointed.
‘This wasn’t always the case as up until the 1960’s this field was used as a rubbish tip with all kinds of waste ranging from fridges, cars and garden waste being dumped here. Le Noir Pré is therefore a wonderful example of what can be achieved through careful consistent conservation management. It is also an example of the incredible floral diversity that can be found in the increasingly threatened wetlands in Jersey.’
For further information, please contact Jonny Parkes,
Lands Manager Email JonParkes@nationaltrust.je