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Natural Environment

Within its 2,000 acres the island of Alderney has woodland, scrub and wetland, grassland and heathland, beautiful gardens, sandy beaches and rocky shores. This astonishing range of habitats, linked with an equable climate, means that the visitor can expect to see abundant flora and wildlife out of all proportion to the island's small size. Carefully maintained footpaths ensure that most parts of Alderney are within easy walking distance, while during the summer regular boat trips around the island give visitors close-up views of the grey Atlantic seals and sea-bird colonies.

The Alderney Wildlife Trust is part of the influential UK-wide partnership of 47 Wildlife Trusts. Working in the absence of British and European wildlife protection laws the Trust is the sole body caring for the island's environment. The Wildife Trust is a non-profit organisation based on voluntary support which helps to maintain two nature reserves and the island's internationally important wetland (Ramsar) site.

Ramsar Site

The United Nations Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, otherwise known as the Ramsar Convention, officially recognised Alderney's west coast and Burhou Island as a wetland of worldwide importance on Thursday 25 August 2005. The designated Ramsar site extends to 1,500 hectares, some 600 hectares more than mainland Alderney and includes all the waters from the island's west coast out to the northern gannet colony of Ortac, Burhou, the islets and reefs that surround it and includes Les Etacs.

The rich birdlife of the west coast of Alderney and Burhou is particularly well-known and attracts keen bird watchers throughout the year. Alderney is host to approximately 2% of the world's population of northern gannets and the only European storm-petrel colony in the Channel Islands, slightly more than approximately 1% of the British population. The unique tidal streams, with speeds of up to 6 knots at spring tides, encourage a vibrant and diverse marine environment, of which little is yet known.

Their work is helping to secure the future of many important habitats and species, whilst striving to make Alderney a sustainable community for the future. For more information visit