10 July, 2023

An exciting new art trail is live in Jersey

A new colourful experience in Jersey 

50 colourful, inspiring and thrilling tortoise sculptures have taken over Jersey’s wild places, coastal vistas and urban hangouts. So whether you’re a local or just visiting, the Tortoise Takeover provides a fun and engaging way to explore this beautiful island.

Durrell is synonymous with Jersey and the community and the airline Blue Island have joined together in supporting this unique art trail.

Discover Durrell's Tortoise Takeover in Jersey until 31 August, with Blue Island flights from many UK airports. Explore the island and find the 50 giant ones and even the 65 young ones as well.

Why did they pick the Tortoise for the special takeover?  Well, from Greek mythology to Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, tortoises have, throughout history, plodded their way into storytelling across the globe. 

The tortoise is perhaps best known as the eventual victor in Aesop’s well-known fable “The Tortoise and The Hare”, establishing these charismatic reptiles as a metaphor of persistent diligence over the excessively confident hare.   In China, the sacred tortoise symbolises longevity, power, and tenacity, and in Ancient Greek mythology, the tortoise is the symbol of the “messenger” god, Hermes. 

Perhaps they also serve a key purpose in the busy modern world, that we should take some time to, well,  go slow,  to enjoy what is going on around us,  to connect with the here and now and not worry too much about tomorrow.  To take your eyes off the rectangular screen and look at whats around you. 

From the Galรกpagos tortoises at Jersey Zoo, to the Aldabra giant tortoises that serve as “ecosystem engineers” on Round Island in Mauritius and the precious, golden-domed ploughshare from Madagascar, Durrell has worked with tortoises for decades. Sadly, chelonians, which include tortoises, turtles and terrapins, are now the most threatened vertebrate group and need our help more than ever.

The Reptile and Amphibian House at Jersey Zoo is home to some of the most endangered species that Durrell works with, but it is in urgent need of improved and more sustainable facilities.