Alderney, a small island off the coast of France, historically linked since the Norman conquest with the British Crown, hosts some important seabird colonies (puffins, gannets, guillemots, razorbills, shags) and fascinating historic sites.
These include probably the best preserved small Roman fort in northwest Europe, impressive and extensive mid Victorian defences, and truly daunting German fortifications.
The presence of these species and sites is relatively unknown outside the Channel Islands, but many are internationally important and can be visited comparatively easily.
Just like many other island communities worldwide, Alderney is suffering from economic and population decline; paradoxical perhaps in such an apparently idyllic setting.
Living Islands is a two year programme funded jointly by the States of Alderney government and the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) in the UK. The project aims to bring these natural and historical assets to a much wider audience in the UK and northern Europe, especially France. It is hoped that the resulting increase in visitors will contribute to sustainable growth in the economy, based on conserving and presenting the island’s heritage to new visitors, particularly in spring and autumn.