THE walk along Jersey’s north coast from Devil’s Hole to Sorel Point is one of the most spectacular in the Island, and will let you see what is affecting many of our birds and see the work being done by conservationists and farmers to turn things round.
Start in the car park by the Priory Pub at Devil’s Hole. Walk down to the spectacular Devil’s Hole blowhole itself, and then walk back towards the Priory pub.
As you reach the car park, bear left, go up the steps and go through the wooden gates on your left and onto the footpath that will take you to the cliffs.
Here, if the weather is fine, you will get views of our sister islands and the French coast. You will also start to see bracken – lots of it!
This area, down to Mourier Valley and the fields inland, was once important for birds like pipits and yellowhammers.
Today these birds are missing, but there is hope – you will see areas where bracken has gone as patches of this fern are removed. The most obvious, and friendliest, method of control is the flock of wonderful Manx Loaghtan sheep.
Say hello to them while they’re at work!
Look out for ravens, birds of prey and the many migrant birds that pass overhead.
On the other side of Mourier Valley, passing the schemes to restore woodland in the valley, you can see more sheep and, inland, the fields planted for bird-friendly crops through the work of Birds On The Edge. These crops, planted in rotation y the farmers, will help many of our birds to get through the winter months.
As you head further east to the rugged headland at Sorel, you will see (or hear) the red-billed choughs. The highlight of your walk?
These beautiful black birds with their shrill calls and fiery red bills are making a comeback after 100 years away.
When you get to Sorel you will see a gravel car park. Turn around and retrace your steps, or continue onwards up to the road, turn left and walk as far as Les Fontaines pub to catch a bus back to town.
CIRCUIT: From Devil’s Hole to Sorel and back
DURATION: About two hours
DESCRIPTION: Rugged cliffpaths, where it can be a bit blowy. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead on this section of the cliffpath. IT isn’t suitable for wheelchairs or prams
TOILETS and REFRESHMENTS: At The Priory, and further on to Les Fontaines if you go that far
Glyn Young, conservation biologist at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (birdsontheedge.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
What’s your area of expertise?
Birds and wildlife.
Your favourite view in Jersey?
St Ouen’s Bay from the top of the Radio Tower.
Grouville Bay in winter, when the birds are on it.
Where do you go to relax?
Mourier Valley, the cliff end near the waterfall.
Favourite fascinating fact?
Red-billed choughs are sometimes called fire crows and are reputedly able to set fire to thatch roofs with their bills!