New Series of ‘Geowalks’ Launched

Publish date: 17 May 2022

A new series of guided walks exploring the Island’s geological, natural and cultural heritage has been launched by the Aspiring Jersey Island Geopark (AJIG) project.

The ‘geowalks’ began at La Rocque and Plémont last week and continue at L’Etacq next Tuesday (10th), with further routes during the rest of May and into June, including at Mont-àL’Abbé, La Pulente, Portelet Common and the woodlands at Grève de Lecq. Each walk is led by an experienced, local guide, who will explain the history of the surrounding landscape. The guides are Nicky Mansell, Trudie Trox, Jean Treleven and John Pinel.

The walks are part of AJIG’s continuing work towards securing the prestigious UNESCO Global Geopark status for the Island and the aim is for the new routes to be on offer to Islanders and visitors throughout the year.

Millie Butel, Jersey Heritage’s Landscape Engagement & Geopark Development Curator, explained that the geowalks evolved from the successful Deep Time Walks held last year. She said:

“These guided geowalks celebrate the Island’s geological, natural and cultural heritage and fit perfectly with one of the Aspiring Jersey Island Geopark’s project’s main aims, which is to enable people to explore the Island’s landscape while also connecting with nature and Jersey’s heritage. There is a variety of routes available to suit different interests and walking abilities, and the hope is that the walks will eventually become part of the Geopark’s core programme of activities. The ideas and content for all of the routes, which feature some of Jersey’s many unique stories, came from local guides. We wanted to harness the existing knowledge and expertise available in the Island and provide a platform for this to be shared with the public in an interesting and fun way.”

The geowalks are a result of part of the Geopark Guide training, which is still in development. Millie said the AJIG team had taken the opportunity to ask the guides about what could be added to the Island’s existing offer of walks and how different parts of Jersey’s story could be told. They also asked the guides to peer review one another’s geowalks, with valuable input from geologists from Société Jersiaise Geology Section. The end result was the new geowalk routes and the four guides will go on to design and lead the next round of Geopark Guide training.

One of the first walks at La Rocque was led by guide Trudie Trox and walker Eleanor Browne finished the route saying:

“Now I understand far more about the coast and how the rocks were formed, and how Neolithic man must have battled with the rising sea level after the Ice Age. Thank you for a lovely and fascinating morning. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.”

Trudie added:

“La Rocque is a geographically fascinating corner of the Island and a window into early human activities. Today, the impressive tidal movement of the ocean shapes the coast and is destructive as well as nurturing an incredible diversity of life, from the smallest worms to the huge seaweeds. This is why I called my walk ‘Fire, Ice and Ocean’.”

Tickets for the geowalks cost £10.30 and places are available to book.

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Kindly supported by The Jersey Community Foundation with funds from the Channel Islands Lottery.