Scenic Lanes competition – supporting the environment


On Monday 14th August the Société Jersiaise held their annual Scenic Lanes competition in which every parish is asked to enter a lane.  The purpose of the competition is to judge the overall ambiance, mix of trees and bushes, features, wildlife, wildflowers, and the sensitivity of the branchage.  The event was sponsored by Rotary Club De La Manche and the judges came from the Environment Department, the Société Jersiaise, National Trust for Jersey, Trees for Life, RJH&AS, and the U3A. 

It was a full day for the judges, who were dropped by the bus at each location, and they walked the lane from beginning to end, observing as they went.  Unlike last year there had been a lot of rain and the lanes were very lush and there was a wide range of fungi.  In some areas the birds could be heard loudly – always a good sound!  There was a variety of wildlife and in Grouville Asian and European hornets were observed attending a feeding station.  The landowner was standing by to see which way they flew!  Some of these have over-wintered, but the majority have blown across from France. 

The parishes had put thought into the lanes they entered, and many had considerable variety, dipping down into valleys, and coming up onto golden fields.  Most of the lanes had striking views across the countryside, town, or out to sea, and unusual features such as gnarled trees and tumbling brooks. 

Particular attention was paid to the state of the branchage, as a radical cut kills the wildlife, and leaves their habitats decimated.  Equally, leaving too much dead mulch can make it hard for the plants to photosynthesize below and for new plants to push through.  One of the criteria was to judge the mix of trees and hedges, ensuring that fast growing trees, such as sycamores and Holme oaks, don’t proliferate.  These quickly block the sun from the canopy below, and are less active homes for wildlife. 

At the end of the day the judges agreed that the lane which had scored the highest points, on every level, was La Rue Ville es Gazeaux in St Lawrence.  The branchage was sensitively executed, there was a surprising variety of trees, (including a hazel with hazel nuts) hedges, wildflowers and wildlife, and at each turn there was a feature, such as a fascinatingly knotted tree trunk, or a brook bubbling through mossy banks. 

Our congratulations go to the Parish of St Lawrence, with their winning scenic lane, La Rue Ville es Gazeaux. They will be presented with a pottery plaque celebrating their win. 

The Société would like to thank the Parishes that entered, and the support received from Rotary Club De La Manche, the Environment Department, U3A, Trees for Life, RJH&AS, and the National Trust for Jersey. 

Photo credits – Rebecca Bailhache