JERSEY – SOUTH EAST COAST
Area: 3,210 hectares
Designation Date: 10.11.2000
Location: 49°09’N 02°02’W
Why was this area designated as a Ramsar site?
Amongst the largest intertidal reef sites in Europe, this area comprises various habitats from reefs, boulder fields, mud, sandy and shingle shores, to shallow tidal lagoons, seagrass beds and a large number of outlying reefs.
The maximum spring tide range of 12 metres exposes 17.5 square kilometres of wave cut rock platforms, extensive areas of reef, and a complex system of gullies and provides an important winter habitat for wading birds and wildfowl.
The flora and fauna are characterized by a number of limit-of-range species at both the northern and southern margins of their distributions, and because of the enormous exchanges of water and variability of substrate, a wide diversity of fish species at varying life history stages are present.
Code of Conduct:
- Safety. Be aware of your environment. The sea rises very quickly in Jersey and on the South East coast the water will often fill gullies first, before rising to higher areas – always be aware of tidal movements to avoid becoming stranded. Check the weather before your trip and let someone know where you are going. Take care when climbing on rocks and on seaweed, it is easy to misplace your step or slip over.
- Rockpools. Do not trample through rock pools. Take care where you step as you may not see creatures which are attached to the rocks and hiding under seaweed or on the sand. if you turn over rocks, return them to their original position to preserve the environment beneath. Studies show it can take 5-10 years to recover if left upturned.
- Shells & Stones. Collection of souvenirs such as shells or pebbles should be kept to a minimum. Removal of larger stones should not be conducted without a prior discussion with a member of the Société Jersiaise Archaeological Society.
- Wildlife. Look at, but refrain from touching, marine life. It can be sensitive to rough handling, which may result in injury or death. If you do touch or pick up small animals from rock pools, handle them with great care and put them back where you found them. Whilst activities such as litter picking are encouraged, care should be taken not to disturb birds nesting on the ground.
– Birds. Birds nest in many locations throughout this Ramsar site, for example at Icho Tower and on the large surrounding rock, and to the south and west of Le Hocq Tower. They may attack you if you approach them so avoid climbing onto the towers and surrounding rocks during nesting season (April – August).
– Seals are sometimes seen on La Conchiere Rocks and in the surrounding area. Boat users should maintain a good watch and follow the seal watching code.
- Dogs. Do not allow your dog(s) to chase birds as they can cause great disturbance. Particular care should be taken in areas where birds feed at low water. Allowing your dog to chase through large flocks of feeding or resting birds can cause them to use valuable energy by flying away, and will stop them feeding. Please also be aware of Jersey’s Policing of Beaches regulations regarding dates within which dogs must be kept on leads.
- Litter & Other Waste. Bring bags for dog mess, a portable ash tray for cigarette butts, and take all litter home. Bins are available at the various slipways nearby. There are also public toilet facilities along the coastline that adjoins this site; however, if nature calls whilst you are out on the shore, please choose a discreet location below the half tide mark. If you are staying out at Seymour Tower, you should bring appropriate equipment.
- Vehicles. To park on any beach in Jersey you must apply online at gov.je for a beach parking permit. The permit is only valid when you are using your vehicle to transport a vessel to and from the beach. To drive on the beach, you require written permission from the Minister for Economic Development. Remember, not only is unauthorised vehicle use against the law, it is unlikely your insurance covers you for off road driving.
- Low water fishing. Please adhere to all Jersey fishing regulations. These cover matters such as closed seasons, bag limits, minimum landing sizes, and gear restrictions. Current regulations can be found online at www.gov.je.
- Groups. Schools and large groups planning rockpool rambles should consider using a selection of locations, not just the well utilised area around La Rocque Harbour, to reduce the cumulative impact on this area close to shore. It is also good practice to avoid the risk of more than one group arriving in the same spot to undertaken a rockpool exploration. The Société Jersiaise Marine Biology Section can give advice on good areas to explore, and may even be able to offer assistance so you get a great experience.
- Drones. For the prevention of disturbance to wildlife, drone users should be particularly cautious when operating in this area as it is important for local and migratory birds who may be easily disturbed by a drone flying nearby. Drones should be landed at the first sign of disturbance, both for the safety of the birds, and for the drones – some species, such as oyster catchers, are known to be particularly defensive. Aviation legislation must be adhered to at all times, particularly in relation to proximity to privately owned property. Please read the Ports of Jersey ‘Drone Code’ prior to using a drone.