Boulders stolen from oldest rock formation

News | Published:

SEVERAL boulders made from material which formed more than 580 million years ago have been stolen from a Site of Special Interest in St Ouen.

Dr John Renouf at L'Etacq, where several large boulders of rip-up mud flake conglomerates similar to this one have disappeared from the top of the beach. Picture : JON GUEGAN (20910219)

And experts believe that they could now be sitting in someone’s garden rockery.

The boulders, which each weigh between 50 kg and 100 kg and are from Jersey’s oldest rock formation, are believed to have been taken from Le Petit Etacquerel at L’Etacq in the last couple of months.

They are made of ‘rip-up mud flakes’ which formed between 580 and 590 million years ago, and were dumped in the current position during the German Occupation when the site was excavated for the construction of a casemate on the other side of the coast road.

Over the years they have been visited by thousands of people – from primary school children to post graduate researchers – and the area is regarded as the best location in Jersey to research the Island’s geology.

Geologist John Renouf, who has appealed for people to look out for the boulders, said: ‘I have been taking groups to see these boulders for 50 years – I must have taken 1,000 people there over that time. Now they are gone and are irreplaceable. It’s so very sad.

‘I think these boulders have been specifically targeted. They are very attractive and I think they could have been taken to put in someone’s rockery, or it could have been a contractor looking to sell them on.’

He added: ‘It must have required a vehicle with a grab or a tractor with a scoop. They are heavy – about 50 kg to 100 kg each – but if they had the right equipment they probably could have taken them in about 20 minutes to half a hour.’

Richard Heath

By Richard Heath


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