There is now yet another reason to make a day trip out to our neighbouring islands during a stay at the Bella Luce: nearby Herm, Jethou and The Humps were formally designated a Ramsar protected wetland site in late January 2016, just days before World Wetlands Day on February 2nd.
“Herm has always been a favourite place for residents and visitors alike and I am delighted that the island’s treasure trove of wildlife and flora has been recognised at an international level”.
Minister for the Environment Department, Deputy Yvonne Burford
Ramsar status means that a wetland is recognized as being environmentally, culturally and historically significant, and the designation of a site embodies the government’s commitment to maintaining the ecological character of the site. Herm, Jethou (the small island southwest of Herm) and The Humps (a collection of sand banks and rocky outcrops just northeast of Herm) join parts of Alderney and Sark, as well as Lihou Island and L’Erée Headland on Guernsey’s west coast, as Ramsar sites. The islands will now become the focal point for environmental, educational and tourism initiatives, with the States of Guernsey and interested parties developing a management plan to ensure the conservation of native species and important habitats.
“It is great to see this wonderful place recognised. One of the best ways to help preserve a special place is to understand more about it and show others how important it is. We are looking forward to having a role to play in educating visitors to the area and helping promote Herm as special place in the world."
Anthony Ford Parker, owner of Outdoor Guernsey
The marine and land habitats on and around Herm, Jethou and The Humps include important breeding areas for colonies of sea birds such as puffins, shags, and lesser black backed gulls, and are also frequented by razorbills, egrets, fulmars and guillemots. Grey seals are also often be seen in the coastal waters and hauled out on the rocks of The Humps. Back on dry land, there are also numerous archaeological sites on Herm Common.
If you’d like to visit Herm during your stay at the Bella or perhaps head out on a sea-safari to look for sea birds, seals and perhaps even the dolphins that visit the waters around the islands, then please ask at reception or call or e-mail us. We are happy to help arrange transport to Herm or organise wildlife spotting tours for guests.
All images courtesy and copyright Jonathan Watson/Herm Island