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Guernsey's L'Eree wetland is vital eco system
L'Eree shingle bank
The Ramsar site at L'Eree is the largest wetland in Guernsey

On World Wetlands Day BBC Guernsey paid a visit to the Ramsar site at L'Eree.

In March 2006, the 426 hectare area on Guernsey's west coast became the Bailiwick's first designated Ramsar site.

It encompasses Lihou Island, the Claire Mare and Colin Best nature reserves, as well as the L'Eree shingle bank.

With a range of habitats including marshes, reed beds and the intertidal area it provides a rich environment for different species.

Jamie Hooper, from conservation group La Société Guernesiaise, said one of the main reasons the site at L'Eree was so important, was because of its sheer size.

He said: "It's a complex of several different habitats, there's hundreds of different species involved.

"There is nothing else like this in Guernsey."

Jamie Hooper Jan Dockerill
Jamie and Jan said it was an important area for hundreds of species

Jamie explained there had been well over a 150 species of birds alone recorded in the area, with wintering birds coming down from the north and from the continent, and migrating birds from the south stopping off too.

"Then you've got all the other species," he added. "Insects, wild flowers - the whole range, right across the board - it really is a hotspot."

The site also has a rich biodiversity of plants and marine organisms.

According to the States of Guernsey 214 species of seaweed are recorded on the Lihou causeway alone.

Jan Dockerill, the Environment Services Officer at Guernsey's Environment Department said wetlands "provide food, water, breeding sites - they provide the ideal spots for migrating species as well".

She said there were very few wetlands on Guernsey "but we have much smaller ones in people's back gardens and fields - which are also precious".

Wetland is awarded Ramsar status
01 Mar 06 |  Guernsey


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