Vale Pond - Colin McCathie NR
This relatively large reserve consists of a pond and a meadow. The pond is all that remains of the Braye du Valle, the channel of water separating the Clos du Valle from the rest of Guernsey until about 200 years ago. It is inclined to be brackish as sea-water enters through the sluice near the road at high spring tides. There is a good area of reedbed, and the pond is an important site for birds. A hide has been constructed behind the west wall which is accessed from the main road. From here it is possible to see a variety of waterbirds including Snipe, Heron and Little Egrets and occasionally some rarities passing through. Plants around the edge of pond include Sea Aster, Sea Hard Grass and Glasswort, which are rare elsewhere in Guernsey. The bird hide is on the main road opposite the pumping station.
The meadow to the south of the pond is grazed by cows, and is mainly semi-improved grassland, but where it dips down towards the stream (east) there are pockets of unusual salt-marsh plants such as Sea Arrow Grass and Sea Club-Rush and Grey Clubrush, and wet meadow plants such as Yellow Iris, Celery-leaved Crowfoot, and Marsh Woundwort. There are some trees planted around the edge of the meadow, and the east facing wall against the road with its thick covering of Ivy and Brambles provides a sheltered home to many invertebrates and small mammals.
Please do not descend to the edge of the pond as this disturbs the birds.
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Candie Gardens, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 1UG, Channel Islands.