Le Noir Pre orchid meadow

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Le Noir Pré orchid meadow, Jersey
Le Noir Pré orchid meadow / Rolf Thum, / CC BY-SA 3.0

Lately the beautiful Jersey Island got one more exciting landmark – Le Noir Pré orchid meadow. This natural wonder requires some human assistance – and it redeems with thousands of dark purple flowers of Jersey orchids.

History

In fact here are located two adjoining orchid meadows: the larger Le Noir Pré (in English – "the black meadow") (1.96 ha), and the smaller Le Clos du Seigneur (0.5 ha).

Both meadows serve as a remainder, a relict of centuries long agricultural tradition. Many generations of Jersey farmers used these wet meadows for hay cutting and grazing and here evolved a specific ecosystem.

Times changed and old traditions were out of place. Fields were abandoned – part of Le Noir Pré was used as a rubbish tip in the 1950s – 1960s.

Other wet meadows in Jersey were gradually turned into drained and ploughed fields. After a recommendation of local biologist The National Trust of Jersey purchased Le Noir Pré in 1972.

Proper management of meadows though was mastered later. Now the meadows are cut and baled in July, after orchids and other plants have set seed. Afterwards the fields are grazed by cattle.

This has brought success. In 2002 there was observed that the number of orchids has increased significantly since the 1990s. In late years there is observed mass bloom of orchids and we may expect even more in coming years.

Flowers

The mass bloom of orchids takes place in late May – early June. Site can be visited then – but visitors should keep to the mown paths.

Most noticeable plant is Jersey Orchid (Anacamptis laxiflora, also Orchis laxiflora). This orchid here grows up to 60 cm tall, it has dark purple flowers. In United Kingdom Jersey Orchid is found only on Channel Islands, but it is fairly common in continental Europe. Le Noir Pré belongs to prominent habitats of this beautiful plant.

Here ar flowering other orchids as well: such as Southern Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza praetermissa), Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) and Heath Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata).

References

  1. Le Noir Pre, The National Trust for Jersey. Accessed in the 2nd April 2011

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Le Noir Pre orchid meadow 49.218223, -2.224380 Le Noir Pre orchid meadow

Coordinates: 49.2182 N 2.2244 W
Categories: Ecosystems
Values: Biology, Visual
Rank: 7
Address: Europe, United Kingdom, Jersey, parish of Saint Ouen, at St Ouen’s Pond
Area: Roughly 2.5 ha

Wonders of Jersey

Fisherman’s Chapel in St Brelade, Jersey
Fisherman’s Chapel in St Brelade / , / CC BY 2.0

The small island of Jersey is very rich with archaeological heritage, but here are found impressive castles, amazing formations of sea coast, numerous beautiful gardens and other interesting attractions as well.

Ecosystems

This is not alien planet. Group of Dragon's Blood Trees in Socotra
This is not alien planet. Group of Dragon’s Blood Trees in Socotra. (possibly taken outside Rokeb di Firmihin) / Rod Waddington, / CC BY-SA 2.0

Biotope is rather small area with uniform environmental conditions and specific community of life. Wondermondo describes biotopes and ecosystems which have striking looks, look very beautiful or have other unusual characteristics.

Recommended books

Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East


This comprehensive field guide covers the identification, biology, and conservation of more than 520 species of orchid found in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The detailed text and 1270 color photographs and line drawings allow specialists, as well as avid botanists and interested tourists, to identify the wild orchids of the region with precision.

Jersey Legends


With fairies and dragons, witches and werewolves, the picturesque island of Jersey boasts legends as varied and powerful as any within the British Isles. From its golden beaches to its treacherous cliffs, Jersey is alive with mysterious stories as strange and fascinating as the beings that inhabit them. This unique anthology includes the most famous of Jersey’s fables, such as the Hougue Bie Dragon, the Witches of Rocqueberg, and the demon of Bonne Nuit.

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