|THE JERSEY COAT OF ARMS|
Location of Jersey within the continent of Europe
Map of Jersey
Flag Description of Jersey:white with a diagonal red cross extending to the corners of the flag; in the upper quadrant, surmounted by a yellow crown, a red shield with three lions in yellow; according to tradition, the ships of Jersey - in an attempt to differentiate themselves from English ships flying the horizontal cross of St. George - rotated the cross to the "X" (saltire) configuration; because this arrangement still resembled the Irish cross of St. Patrick, the yellow Plantagenet crown and Jersey coat of arms were added
Official name Bailiwick of Jersey
Political status crown dependency (United Kingdom) with one legislative house (Assembly of the States of Jersey )
Head of state British Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Lieutenant Governor: Sir John McColl
Head of government Chief Minister: Ian Gorst 2, assisted by the Council of Ministers
Capital Saint Helier
Official language English3
Official religion none
Monetary unit Jersey pound (£J)
Population (2013 est.) 99,400
Total area (sq mi) 46
Total area (sq km) 118
- Urban: (2009) 31.3%
- Rural: (2009) 68.7%
Life expectancy at birth
- Male: (2012) 79.1 years
- Female: (2012) 82.3 years
Literacy: percentage of population age 15 and over literate
- Male: 100%
- Female: 100%
GNI per capita (U.S.$) (2009) 62,474
1 51 elected officials plus 5 ex officio members.
2The first chief minister of Jersey was elected in December 2005.
3Until the 1960s French was an official language of Jersey and is still used by the court and legal professions; Jerriais, a Norman-French dialect, is spoken by a small number of residents.
Background of Jersey
Jersey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy that held sway in both France and England. These islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in World War II. Jersey is a British crown dependency but is not part of the UK or of the European Union. However, the UK Government is constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation.
Jersey, British crown dependency and island, the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands, lying south of England’s coast and 12 miles (19 km) west of the Cotentin peninsula of France. Its capital, St. Helier, is 100 miles south of Weymouth, England. Jersey is about 10 miles across and 5 miles from north to south. The Ecrehous rocks (6 miles northwest) and Les Minquiers (12 miles south) are in the Bailiwick of Jersey.
The island is largely a plateau mantled with loess, with deeply incised valleys sloping from north to south. Picturesque cliffs reaching 485 feet (148 metres) in height line the northern coast; elsewhere, rocky headlands enclose sandy bays bordered by infilled lagoons. Coasts are reef-strewn, but a breakwater in St. Aubin’s Bay protects St. Helier harbour from southwest gales. Blown sand forms dunes at the northern and southern ends of St. Ouen’s Bay on the western coast. The climate is less maritime and more sunny than Guernsey’s. Mean annual temperature is 52 °F (11 °C). Frost is rare, but cold air spreading from France in spring occasionally damages the potato crop.
Prehistoric remains of Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) humans have been found at La Cotte de St. Brelade, and there is abundant evidence of the Neolithic Period (New Stone Age) and the Bronze Age. The island was known to the Romans as Caesarea. Documents from the 11th century show 12 parishes as part of the diocese of Coutances. In the 12th century Norman landowners dominated the island, which was divided into three units for the collection of the king-duke’s revenue.
Separation from Normandy in 1204 made reorganization necessary. Jersey kept its Norman law and local customs but, with the other islands, was administered for the king by a warden and sometimes by a lord. By the end of the 15th century, Jersey had its own captain, later called governor, an office abolished in 1854 when the duties devolved upon a lieutenant governor, who still performs them. In 1617 it was ruled that justice and civil affairs were affairs of the bailiff. The Royal Court, as it came to be called, took the same form as Guernsey’s; the surviving court still reveals its medieval origin. The States of Jersey, or States Assembly, separated from the Royal Court in 1771 and assumed the court’s residual powers of legislation. Parish deputies were first elected in 1857.
In the 17th century the Carterets, seigneurs of St. Ouen, dominated the island, holding it for the king from 1643 to 1651. In the 18th and 19th centuries the island was torn by feuds—Magots versus Charlots, Laurels versus Roses—but it also prospered from the Newfoundland fisheries, privateering, and smuggling and, later, from cattle, potatoes, and the tourist trade.
Jersey is now governed under the British monarch in council by the States Assembly, in which the royally appointed bailiff presides over 10 senators, 12 constables (connétables), and 29 deputies, all popularly elected. The lieutenant governor and crown officers have seats and may speak but not vote. The Royal Court has three full-time judges: the bailiff (principal judge or president), the deputy bailiff, and the master. The bailiff and deputy bailiff are the trial judges and, together with two jurats, sit as the inferior number of the Royal Court to try civil cases and criminal matters that are not tried before a jury. The master is responsible for interlocutory matters in civil cases only. Judicial and legislative functions of jurats were not separated until 1948, when other reforms excluded from the States Assembly the jurats and the rectors of the 12 parishes. Most of the proceedings are conducted in English, though French is also an official language.
The inhabitants are mainly of Norman descent with an admixture of Breton, although there was an influx of English after 1830, of political refugees from Europe after 1848, and, after World War I, of men seeking to avoid taxation. St. Helier, the adjoining parishes of St. Saviour and St. Clement, and Gorey and St. Aubin are the main population centres.
Farming concentrates on dairying (with ancillary cropping) and on breeding for export of Jersey dairy cattle, the only breed allowed on the island since 1789. Many small farms grow early potatoes and outdoor tomatoes for export. Greenhouse production of flowers, tomatoes, and vegetables is significant. Soil is fertilized with vraic (French varec, “wrack,” or “seaweed”) fertilizer.
The tourist trade is well established. Knitting of the traditional woolen jerseys has declined. Passenger and cargo ships connect Jersey with Guernsey and Weymouth, England, and with Saint-Malo, France, via the ports of St. Helier and Gorey, and there are cargo services to London and Liverpool. Air links are extensive. Jersey Zoological Park was founded in 1959 in Trinity Parish by Gerald Durrell, the naturalist and writer, to protect animals in danger of extinction. Area Jersey, 44 square miles (115 square km); Bailiwick of Jersey, 46 square miles (118 square km). Pop. (2009 est.) 92,300.
Geography of Jersey
Jersey is an island measuring 46 square miles (118.2 square kilometers), including reclaimed land and intertidal zone, which is about 0.7 times the size of Washington, DC in the United States.
It is located in the English Channel, approximately 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers from the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy, France, and approximately 100 miles (140 kilometers) south of Great Britain. The States of Jersey is the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands.
The island is a plateau mantled with wind-blown silt. It has a low-lying terrain on south coast, with some rocky headlands, rising gradually to rugged picturesque cliffs along the north coast. Coasts are reef-strewn, and a breakwater in St Aubin's Bay protects St Helier harbor. There are sand dunes along the west coast, and small valleys running north-south intersect the island. Very large tidal variation exposes large expanses of sand and rock to southeast at low tide. The highest point is Les Platons at 470 feet (143 meters).
The climate is temperate with mild winters and cool summers. The mean annual temperature is 52°F (11°C), and frost is rare. It also averages the most sunshine per year in the British Isles.
Gorse is one of Jersey's commonest large plants, the flowers of which create the blaze of gold on headlands and heaths in late spring and early summer. Gorse is often accompanied by dodder, a parasitic plant which draws sustenance from the gorse plant's spiky foliage.
Jersey has a population of reptiles and amphibians, including the common toad, Bufo bufo, and frogs, the green lizard, the wall lizard, the Jersey tiger moth, the white-toothed shrew, the herring gull, the stiff-winged fulmars, jet-black, green-eyed shags, larger-than-life black-backed gulls and clown-faced puffins. Offshore, there are herons, egrets, terns, curlews and even kingfishers to the list.
No natural hazards have been reported, although there are issues with waste disposal, air pollution, and traffic.
Three areas of land are protected for their ecological or geological interest as sites of special interest: Les Landes, Les Blanches Banques, and La Lande du Ouest. A large area of intertidal zone is designated as a Ramsar site. Jersey is the home of Durrell Wildlife (formerly known as the Jersey Zoological Park) founded by the naturalist, zookeeper, and author Gerald Durrell.
Saint Helier, one of the 12 parishes and the largest town in Jersey, had a population of about 28,000 in 2007, and is the capital, although Government House is situated in St Saviour. The parish Saint Helier covers a surface area of 4.1 square miles, being 9 percent of the total land area of the Island (this includes reclaimed land area of 494 acres).
Demography of Jersey
Economy of Jersey
Government and Society of Jersey
Capital Name Saint Helier
Country Name Jersey
Full Country Name Bailiwick of Jersey
Government Type parliamentary democracy
Capital - geographic coordinate 49 11 N, 2 06 W
Daylight Savings Time +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
National Holiday Liberation Day, 9 May (1945)
Constitution unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice
Legal System the laws of the UK, where applicable, apply; local statutesv Suffrage 16 years of age; universal
Culture Life of Jersey
Jersey cattle originate from Jersey the largest Island in the Channel Islands and just some 14 miles away from the French coast.
There are fewer than 6000 Jerseys on the Island in total with nearly 4000 of these being adult milking cows. The purity of the breed on the Island is maintained by a strict ban on imports. This ban has been in place for some 150 years. There are no other breeds of the cattle on the Island.
The Jersey shares a common ancestry with not only the Guernsey breed but also those cattle found on the Normandy and Brittany coasts. This type of cattle is believed to have originally travelled up across Europe from the Middle East.
Jerseys are known to exist in the UK mainland since 1741 and probably well before. At that time they were known as Alderney's.
The Jersey Cattle Society was founded in 1878.
In 1999 there were 18,719 recorded lactations, averaging 4491kgs of milk @ 5.55 and 3.85% Jersey milk is noted for its high quality rather than the quantity, it is particularly rich in protein, minerals and trace elements.
One of the oldest herds in the country is that of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor.
There is another herd at Osberton Notts which is 100 years old and one of a similar age at Brighstone, Isle of Wight.
Jersey milk is noted for its high quality - it is particularly rich in protein, minerals and trace elements. It is also rich in colour which is naturally produced from carotene, an extract from grasses (the cows natural food).
After the Holstein the Jersey is the second most popular specialist Dairy breed in the world.
The Wheelbirk Herd in Northumberland was the first noted by the Jersey Cattle Society in 1925 with the first recorded birth on August 2nd - Miranda Vanity. This herd was recorded from the start and records note one of the foundation cows Merry Jest, yielding 5149 kgs @ 5.75% in 355 days, at 4 years of age, calving on 19th March 1926. 12 cows were recorded by the Northumberland Milk Recording Society in 1926.
The Wheelbirk prefix was the first registered in 1927. The current owner has served on the Council of the Jersey Cattle Society in many capacities and was President in 1984/85.
Jersey Zoological Park, Jersey Zoological Park [Credit: Man vyi] zoo on the island of Jersey, in the British Isles, primarily devoted to keeping and breeding endangered species, especially island forms and small mammals and reptiles. The zoo, situated on 14 hectares (35 acres) of rolling hills, was founded in 1959 by the British author Gerald Durrell. Its management was turned over to the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust in 1963. More than two-thirds of the zoo’s 1,500 specimens, which represent about 100 species, were bred on the park grounds. The zoo does not maintain a monopoly of any rare species it breeds; all surplus animals are sent to other institutions to provide breeding stock if illness or disaster strikes a particular colony.
The Jersey Zoological Park breeds many rare primates, including seven species of marmosets, Mayotte brown lemurs, colobus monkeys, and gorillas. Other rare mammals bred there are spectacled bears, tenrecs, and Rodrigues fruit bats, the rarest species of bat in the world.
Jersey Act, also called Jersey Law, resolution passed in 1913 by the English Jockey Club and named after its sponsor, Victor Albert George, 7th Earl of Jersey, one of the club stewards. It declared that the only horses and mares acceptable for registration in the General Stud Book would be those that could be traced in all their lines to sires and dams already registered therein. The Act effectively disqualified as Thoroughbreds many horses bred outside England or Ireland, including the majority of North American horses. With the shutdown in 1911 and 1912 of racing in New York, the major American racing centre and bloodstock market, an invasion of American bloodstock into England became a threat, and the Act was ostensibly intended to protect the British Thoroughbred from infusions of American blood. The resulting complications of recognizing outstanding horses, however, caused ill feeling among American and French breeders. In 1949, following a rash of victories in prestigious English races by French horses with “impure” American blood, the Law was modified to qualify animals on which eight or nine crosses of pure blood could be traced for at least a century and for which turf performances of the immediate family could be shown as a warrant of blood purity. Not all American Thoroughbreds then became qualified for registration in the General Stud Book, but the ill feeling was eliminated.
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