The National Trust of Guernsey has added the island of Houmet Paradis, a wildlife reserve, to its Geocache map.
There’s a real spirit of adventure about the Houmet Paradis cache, which has been carefully planned and sensitively placed, without disruption to the wildlife that this idyllic island situation offers. An island of granite outcrops and shingle storm beaches, Houmet Paradis is a pleasure to visit for those with a great appreciation of flora, fauna and bird life.
During the course of planning and setting up this geocache, from November 2016 through to February 2017, the solitude of Houmet Paradis has been magnificent. Indeed, a bright and dry day, during these winter months, is probably the best time to visit the island. During the hot summer months and after a busy parenting season, it’s worth mentioning that aire-du-Houmet Paradis is likely to have earthy top notes of guano.
NTG’s geocache will be deactivated during the nesting season months of April through to the beginning of August each year and, geocaching aside, it is preferred that Houmet Paradis is not visited during those months. People who choose to visit during the nesting season, should stick to the clearly cut path that runs through the center of the island, thus avoiding the island’s perimeter nesting areas, and any disruption to nesting bird families.
Planning a visit around the tides is crucial. Access to the island, across a shingle causeway, can be made when the tide is 3.8m or lower. Please check the tides BEFORE crossing, to ensure enough time to safely return. Do not cross the causeway once it is awash, as the tides rise dangerously fast through a funnel neck between Houmet Paradis and Guernsey. Please check here for Tide Tables and Weather.
Due to the nature of the land and surrounding water, children must be supervised at all times.
The National Trust of Guernsey is indebted to Claire Hyland and family for establishing all NTG geocache trails. Our visitors are finding beautiful NTG places, completely ‘off the map’.
To find out more about our geocache sites, please visit Geocache website and search National Trust Guernsey.
For an aerial view of Houmet Paradis, please see Nick Le Huray’s drone film, as published on YouTube
Les Houmets are a group of islands just off Bordeaux in the Vale, their name deriving from the Guernsey-French word meaning islets.
Houmet Paradis was previously known as Houmet de L’Eperquerie, until purchased by the Collas family whereupon its name was changed to reflect their own nearby estate, Paradis.
Over the years, the island has been used as a place to gut fish, for grazing cattle and has been quarried. Houmet Paradis’ widest and most infamous claim to fame is undoubtedly being the location at which Gilliatt, the hero of Victor Hugo’s novel “The Toilers of the Sea”, commits suicide by drowning.
James Watson of Newcastle upon Tyne purchased the island in 1951 for £500. In 2004, Houmet Paradis was sold by his descendants, to an anonymous group of Guernsey islanders, with the objective of maintaining the island as a nature reserve, to be managed by the National Trust of Guernsey.