Natural BeautySark is one of the few remaining unspolit Islands in the Western world - with no cars and virtually no pollution. The well-known botanist and broadcaster, Professor David Bellamy, said that his recent trip to Sark was 'like stepping back in time'. Professor Bellamy is the Patron of Sark's annual Wild Flower Fortnight event which takes place each May.
In spring the predominant colours are blue (Bluebells), pink (Red Campion) and white (Garlic Allium triquetrum, known locally as wild garlic). Bluebells are found in spring in the woods of Dixcart Valley, on the Eperquerie Common and in great profusion on rocky slopes. Also of the Lily family, the Autumn Squill (Scilla autumnalis) is found on Sark; the cliff paths, valleys and field banks have a profusion of Primroses, Dog Violets and Celandines. The Gorse starts to flower and its coconut scent is all pervading on a warm sunny day.
Foxgloves and the Oxeye Daisies are also to be seen all over and above the cliffs as are Thrift, Thyme, Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum) and the rarer Golden Samphire (Inula crithmoides), whilst banks and hedgerows are full of small blue Sheep's-bit (Jasione montana) and Honeysuckle which is delightful on a summer night. Later in the year Blackberries make their appearance, along with Sloes (used to make excellent Sloe Gin).
Guernsey, Herm and Sark formed a large island which was detached from the bulk of Europe about 1 to 3 million years ago, further splitting up 15,000 years ago as water from the melting icecaps increased the sea levels. As a result of this separation, there are some peculiarities in the distribution of flora and fauna on Sark compared with both the UK, Normandy and the other Channel Islands.
There are no big wild mammals such as deer, foxes or badgers on Sark; neither are there any reptiles such as lizards or slow worms, adders or grass-snakes. The two largest wild mammals found on Sark today are the rabbit and the rat.
Hedgehogs, common in Guernsey and in Alderney, were introduced in 1986 but are not as numerous as the original forecast predicted. They are most often seen during warm summer nights. Mice are abundant, but there are no moles or voles. A very small mammal that is found on Sark is the Lesser White-toothed Shrew. This is not found on Guernsey or in nearby Normandy; it is a relic population, left behind on the mountain top of Sark as the sea level rose thousands of years ago.
The waters around Sark are arguably the clearest in the Channel Islands and conceal a treasure chest of marine life. Dolphins and Porpoises can often be seen off the coast but for those visitors who choose to explore Sark underwater, the rewards are just as plentiful. The most dazzling and mysterious fish is the male Cuckoo Wrasse whose vivid orange and blue livery is almost luminescent in the watery half-light. A large variety of fish are to be caught around the shores of Sark, either from rocks or from boats. Wrasse, Grey and Red Mullet, Pollock, Bass and Bream can be caught from the rocks with rods. Mackerel, flatfish, Dogfish, 'Longnose' (Garfish), Conger Eel and Whiting are plentiful offshore. Lobster, Spider Crab and “Chancre” (Edible Crab) are caught in pots around the rocky shoreline of Sark. All the Sark restaurants use fresh shellfish bought from the local fishermen.