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Portelet Nature Reserve and Common

250.000 Years of History

overcast 9 °C

Having my toes cooled down by the sea after a long walk has always given me an indescribable feeling. As I have been putting my body through its pace this week, I wanted it to be relaxed so the ideas for this walk could flow. Fortunately, the cold sea seemed to have helped me wonders.

This walk has definitely been an educational one more than a way to get fit. Discovering paths and stopping from time to time gives you the chance to get close to nature, to appreciate the world you live in. This time, I stopped to read carefully and found myself learning more than I thought. The pictures below show an ancient abreuvoir and a wood path located just before St Brelade's Bay. I regularly walk this way but I just never noticed them.

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Once you get to St. Brelade's & Ouaisne Bay the open and vast beach invites you to walk barefoot. Something I only recommend you to do in the summer unless you want your feet to turn blue.

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Reaching Portelet Nature Reserve was a real discovery. I have been in the island for almost 2 years, lived quite nearby but I have never set my foot on it. Portelet Common was designated an ecological site of special interest in 2007. It covers an area of 31 hectares and supports some 125 plant species. It provides ideal nesting and roosting sites for a number of seabirds and waders. Its real mix habitat is due to the south-westerly wind and how it lies only between 54 and 61m above sea level. If you are listening to music, turn it off. Enjoy the view and the smell; especially from this beautiful gorse which has a scent of coconut.

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My walks are interesting because of the people I meet on them, so when an experience walker told me about the human history found in Portelet Common; I thought my goal was to investigate. There are traces of occupation in this site by Neanderthal man dating 250,000 years with evidence uncovered by archaeologists. Such is the importance of it that public access is not permitted but you can still enjoy the views from St Brelade & Ouaisne Bays.

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At the other side of the Portelet Common you can view Portelet Bay with its magnificent tower called "L'ile au Guerdain" popularly known as "Janvrin's Tomb". It has been renovated through the times but it is still a fantastic site.

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After 2 1/2 hours of exploring, photos and interesting data, it was time to go home and climb the most excruciating 254 steps of the "Sir Winston Churchill Park". The effect of the cold sea was just a distant memory.

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Posted by Adoni Mosquera 08:19 Archived in Jersey Tagged tower fauna man flora neanderthal

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