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Launch of our new series, Time in the Park

This is the first in our new annual series, ‘Time in the Park’, which aims to highlight the natural, cultural and historical heritage existing within the Park’s boundaries.

The Park is steeped in history and its stories await discovery by inquisitive minds. This September, the Jersey National Park is proud to partner with The Channel Islands Occupation Society by highlighting in St. Ouen’s Bay the remains of the Atlantic Wall and some of the best-preserved defence works from WWII in Western Europe. 

The Atlantic Wall was a series of concrete bunkers, man-made barriers and natural obstacles such as cliffs and rocks, which stretched 2,684km along the coast from northern Norway to the Spanish border. These coastal defences were constructed under the Nazi Germany command to defend an impending sea-borne Allied invasion and turned the west of Europe into a virtually impregnable fortress.

A massive concrete anti-tank wall, or ‘Panzermauern’, stretches along St. Ouen’s Bay, designed to trap Allied invaders on the sands under remorseless gun fire. And across the Bay are many strategically placed German fortifications. The building of these structures dramatically changed the features of the Bay and, in particular, that of its fragile ecosystems.

As the Channel Islands Occupation Society reaches its 50th year, the Jersey National Park is delighted to co-host a number of events with them that highlight this fascinating period of history in the Bay; which forms the largest area of the Park. You can explore unique wartime history and see the traces that the five-year-long Occupation left behind at the exhibition, visit historical sites, or join an expert-led tour to cast light on this dark side of Jersey’s history.

What’s happening

Frances le Sueur Centre, St. Ouen’s Bay
Occupation Exhibition

The exhibition brings together a stunning selection of rarely seen photographs together with relevant video footage. Members of the Channel Islands Occupation Society and the Jersey National Park will also be in attendance to give you more information. There will also be military vehicles on display outside the centre.

Open 14.00 to 16.00, Saturday 25 September

Open 14.00 to 16.00, Saturday 2 October

Open 11.00 to 16.00, Sunday 3 October

La Mielle de Morville, St. Ouen. Entrance is free.

Moltke Battery at Les Landes
Open Fortification

Situated on a coastal patch of heathland at the north end of the Bay overlooking the Atlantic is Moltke Battery. This was what was once one of the most established gun batteries in Jersey, and the Society members will be onsite to impart their knowledge of this impressive fortification. On display is a fearsome WW1 era French field gun, which has a range of 12 miles, one of four captured from the French and brought to the islands. At the foot of the nearby cliffs is what is known as the Gun Graveyard, where 29 heavy guns were disposed of by the States of Jersey in 1946 in an attempt to ‘cleanse the Island of the taint of German Occupation’.

Open from 11.00 to 16.00, Sunday 26 September.

Les Landes Common, St. Ouen.

Partial wheelchair access by prior arrangement with the Society.

Entrance is £5.00 for adults. 

Old age pensioners and children under 16, free entry.

No dogs.

The Strongpoint bunkers at La Corbière
Open Fortification

At the tip of the headland is La Corbière lighthouse. During the Occupation, the Germans built this heavily defended position, known as ‘Strongpoint’ right next to it. It is an intensively fortified location possessing numerous bunkers, including some which have been opened and restored. As it was a natural strategic point, you can see almost the entire Atlantic Coast from here.

Open from 14.00 to 17.00, Sunday 26 September. 

La Corbière, St. Brélade.

Entrance is £5.00 for adults.

Old age pensioners and children under 16, free entry.

No dogs.

Strongpoint Butts and MP3 Observation Tower
Guided Walk

The Channel Islands Occupation Society will be offering this captivating walk at Les Landes where you will learn about the hidden defences and heroic RAF action in June 1944. This tour is of Strongpoint Butts, which includes the interior of the iconic Observation Tower at Les Landes, and the recently excavated anti-aircraft bunker with original German artwork on the walls.

10.00 to 13.00, Sunday 19 September

Starting from Jersey Model Aero Club Car Park. Les Landes Common, St. Ouen.

Maximum 25 people.

The walk is free, but donations gratefully accepted. 

Minimum age for children, 16 years.

No dogs. 

Good walking shoes, a bottle of water, and a torch are recommended.

Moltke Battery
Guided Walk

This tour is of an impressive complex, including four gun emplacements, linked by tunnels to underground ammunition storage bunkers. One of the emplacements has been restored by the Channel Islands Occupation Society and also linked to a 27-man personnel shelter which was manned by the German Army.

10.00 to 13.00, Sunday 26 September

Les Landes Common, St. Ouen. 

Maximum 25 people.

The walk is free, but donations gratefully accepted. 

Minimum age for children, 16 years.

No dogs. 

Good walking shoes, a bottle of water, and a torch are recommended.

Resistance Nest La Carrière
Guided Walk

The Channel Islands Occupation Society will be delving deeper into the Island’s wartime history with a unique tour of this southern end of St. Ouen’s Bay. The walk will start from Le Braye, and head to the two bunkers sitting back-to-back in a classic German coastal fortification arrangement. Rare photographs will be shown of the extensive trenches that once adorned the coastline, but are still traceable to the trained eye. A unique glimpse into this period of history, and a chance to see traces of the Occupation years for yourself. 

10.00 to 13.00, Sunday 3 October

Starting from La Braye Car Park St. Brélade.

Maximum 25 people.

The walk is free, but donations gratefully accepted. 

Minimum age for children, 16 years.

No dogs. 

Good walking shoes, a bottle of water, and a torch are recommended.

Thanks

Thanks to our sponsor Islands for making this possible.

Supported by