Longis Nature Reserve

View across Longis Bay, Longis Nature ReserveView across Longis Bay, Longis Nature Reserve

A sweeping 105ha coastal reserve including high energy intertidal wetlands, species rich coastal grassland, freshwater wetlands and scrub.

What is the Longis Nature Reserve

The Reserve was designated under a memorandum of understanding in 2003 between the Alderney Wildlife Trust (AWT), the States of Alderney and local landowners. It is the largest terrestrial reserve within Alderney, covering approximately 1/8th of the island.

Walking through the reserve's coastal trails you may glimpse rare plant species such as Small Hare’s-ear, Sand Crocus, Bastard Toadflax and Orange Bird’s-foot, as well as the endemic Alderney Sea Lavender on the rocky shore. Two bird hides overlook the reserve’s freshwater ponds, offering unrivalled views of waterfowl, songbirds and migrants alike.

Longis is the centre of the Alderney Grazing Animals Project (AGAP) with over 20ha managed using a 4-strong herd of Guernsey cattle, who help to maintain the wildflower-rich grassland habitat and support the range of species that depend on it. The coastline itself, with its rocky shoreline and sandy bays, is not only beautiful but rich in marine life.

Just outside the reserve is the Nunnery, home of the Alderney Bird Observatory (ABO). Much of their ringing effort is based around the reserve, you can visit their website to find out more about what they find around Longis and the island.

Longis Nature Reserve Plan

Habitats

The reserve contains 13 distinct habitats, including marine, intertidal, coastal heathland, grassland, scrub woodland and two freshwater ponds - one natural and one man-made in a disused quarry.

This melange of habitats means a walk through the reserve gives the chance of spotting a huge variety of species.

Species

Longis is home to a wide array of terrestrial and marine species - just a few that might be of interest include:

Water Rail, Little Grebe, Whitethroat, Wheatear, Common Buzzard, Peregrine, Little Egret, Dartford Warbler

European Hedgehog (including the blonde or leucistic form), Greater White-toothed Shrew, Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle

Emperor dragonfly,  Red-veined Darter, Common Blue Damselfly, Black-tailed Skimmer

Thrift Clearwing, Forester, Emperor, Five-spot Burnet moths, Common Blue, Grayling, Glanville Fritillary, Small Copper butterflies

Sand Crocus, Bastard Toadflax, Green-winged and Pyrmidal Orchids, Alderney Sea Lavender (endemic), Pale Flax, Small-flowered Catchfly, Bell Heather and Golden Samphire

Water rail on the bank of Longis pond
Water rail searches the edge of Longis pond for food

Facilities

Like so much of the island the Longis Reserve is dependent on volunteers and locally raised funds to maintain its facilities. These include:

  • 2 bird hides, including the newly renovated Longis bird hide
  • 3 miles of reserve trail
  • The 'Odeon' observation bunker (key available from the the AWT office, Victoria Street)
  • Longis Bay (Alderney's secondary harbour) anchorage and moorings & WC in the Nunnery Car Park

 

Downloads

FilenameFile size
final_longis_reserve_management_plan_2017-2021.pdf2.71 MB