Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine

JERSEY LIFESTYLE SURVEY: COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE ACCESS

From taking walks in the countryside to visiting conservation sites and heritage attractions – results from the latest Statistics Jersey lifestyle survey reveal how often Islanders make use of Jersey’s natural and historic environment. 

The 2022 survey was completed by almost 1,200 Islanders in June and July, covering a range of topics from personal finances to health to heritage and conservation. 

The 82-page report provides insights into Island life and societal issues, with the aim of informing policy decisions.

While the report shows the majority of Islanders enjoy the rural and coastal scenery that Jersey offers, it also highlights there is more to be done when it comes to access. 

Countryside activities  

Nearly 3,500 households were invited at random to participate in the survey. Results from the 1,200 respondents showed that walking along lanes and countryside footpaths was the most common activity that Islanders undertook to enjoy the rural and coastal landscape. 

93% of adults reported doing this at least occasionally, and 46% reported doing so at least once a week. The proportion of Islanders who responded ‘I never do this’ was 7%. 

Proportion of adults that had taken part in these activities in the Island’s countryside and coast during the last 12 months. 

Just under half of Islanders reported occasionally cycling on the road, but men were more likely to do this than women. Two in five (41%) men also ran in the Island’s countryside and coast, compared to only 28% of women. 

Public conservation sites 

Respondents were provided with a list of nature conservation areas, including Portelet, Ouaisne, Les Landes and St Catherine’s Woods, and asked how often they had visited these sites. 

Four-fifths of adults had visited at least one of the sites in the last 12 months, with younger adults (aged 16–34) more likely to visit St Catherine’s Woods and Portelet compared to those over 65. 

Proportion of adults that had visited one of the following sites in the last 12 months. 

The survey highlighted that rural parishioners were more likely to have visited one of the sites (85% of adults) compared with those living in St Helier (79%). 

Over a third (35%) of adults who had not visited any of the sites said this was because they preferred going to the beach. 17% responded to ‘can’t get there’, and 13% responded to ‘the terrain is too difficult for me’. 

Other commonly listed reasons for not visiting these public areas were distance to the sites, lack of time, and coronavirus safety fears. 

Heritage sites 

Islanders were asked about how often they visited various types of heritage sites in Jersey, such as heritage attractions, historic fortification sites or archaeological sites. 

Nearly two-fifths (38%) of Jersey adults had not visited any heritage sites or attractions over the previous 12 months, which was a significant increase from 2019 when 28% of adults had not done so. 

Proportion of adults to have visited various heritage sites in Jersey in the last 12 months (respondents could select more than one option). 

The survey also showed that 35 to 44-year-olds visited sites more often than those aged 65 and over, and that people with children in their household (76%) were more likely to visit a heritage site than those without children in their households (61%). 

The full report is available on the Government of Jersey website

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