Channel Islands

                                                 The Channel Islands are a group of islands in the English Channel between England and France.  The main islands are Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, Herm, Brecqhou, Jethou and Lihou. All of these except for Jersey are part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey.  There are also some uninhabited islets: the Minquiers, Écréhous, Les Dirouilles and Les Pierres de Lecq which are part of the Bailiwick of Jersey and Burhou and Casquets which lie off Alderney.
 
 
 
 
Jersey is the largest of the Channel islands.  It has an area of 118.2 square kilometres (45 square miles).  It has twelve parishes which are named after Christian saints. It is approximately 22 kilometres from France and 161 km south of England.  Jersey is the most southerly of the British Isles.  The capital of Jersey, St Helier,stands in St Aubin's Bay on the southern side of the island.    Jersey is famous for its Jersey Royal potatoes, flowers and the Jersey breed of cow with its rich yellow butter and creamy milk.  It is also a leading international finance centre and home to the world famous Durrel Wildlife.

                                                      
Guernsey is the second largest of the Channel Islands.  St Peter Port is the capital of Guernsey, as well as the main port of the island.  The island is divided into ten parishes.  The population of Guernsey is just over 60,000 with financial services and tourism making up most of the island's economy. Guernsey is situated 48 km (30 miles) west of France's Normandy coast and 121 km (75 miles)  south of Weymouth, England and lies in the Gulf of St Malo.
 
 
 
Alderney is the most the most northerly Channel Island.  It is the third largest Channel Island, with an area of 4.8 km (3 miles) long and 2.4 kim (1.5 miles) wide.   It is the closest of the Channel Islands to France as well as being the closest to England.   The only parish of Alderney is the parish of St. Anne which covers the whole island.  Alderney has a population of about 2,400.
 
Sark has two main parts which are joined by a narrow causeway called  La Coupée; Greater Sark and Little Sark.  Sark has its own laws and its own parliament.  It has a population of about 600.   There are no cars in Sark, the only vehicles allowed are horse-drawn vehicles, bicycles, tractors and battery powered vehicles for the disabled.  Sark has a ferry from Guernsey which takes about 40 minutes.  
 
Herm is one of the smallest of the Channel Islands that is open to the public. There is a ferry service to Herm which takes 20 minutes from Guernsey.  Cars and bicycles are banned from Herm but the locals are allowed to drive quad bikes and tractors.  Herm is only 1½ miles long and less than half a mile wide.  The population is approximately 60 residents.  Herm is owned by the States of Guernsey and rented out to tenants.  
 
 
                                                           The island of Brecqhou is very close to Sark.  It is a private island that is not open to visitors.  The island has been owned by the Barclay brothers since 1993.  The Barclays own the newspaper, the Daily-Telegraph.  They live in a castle and travel between the islands on their helicopter.  They contest Sark's control over the island.
 
 
 
 
 

Jethou is a tiny island south of Herm with a population of 3.  It is thought that it was  connected to Herm by a strip of land that was washed away during a storm in the AD709.   Jethou is a part of the Bailiwick but is not open to the public.  It is leased by the States of Guernsey from the Crown.  Puffins are often spotted swimming off the rocks at the back of Jethou.


Lihou is a small island on Guernsey's West coast near L'Eree.  It can only be reached at low tide by walking across a 400 metre causeway.  It is owned by the states of Guernsey and is open to the public.  There is one house on the island which is rented out. Lihou is recognized as a 'Site of Nature Conservation Importance' and it is also an important nesting area for birds. 






There are many unihabited islands in the Channel Islands.  The Écréhous (see picture) are a group of islands and rocks situated 9km north-east of Jersey (12 kms from France).  There is no fresh water so the islets have no permanent residents but there are some fishermen's huts on some of the larger islets.  


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