Sark is a beautiful, picturesque island just 80 miles off the coast of France. It features gorgeous beaches and charming architecture and is one of the smaller Channel Islands. While the destination is ideal for people looking to get away, the true heart of the island lies within its locals. Sark measures around 3.5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide and never feels as if it is overcrowded, even with the flourishing tourism surrounding the island.
Many of the locals of the secluded island have lived there for generations. For hundreds of years, the population has always been small, unsurprising considering its size. Over the past few decades, there has always been a consistent, permanent population that has hovered around 500 residents. In the early to mid-2000s, the population of Sark was at its highest at around 650 residents.
The tiny island, also known as the jewel of the Channel Islands, is located between England and France and is a stunning destination with a unique history and charming appeal for many tourists. The main industry of the island heavily relies on the visitors who come to the island seeking a getaway every year.
About Life on Sark Island
Sark is known for its incredible seafood, beautiful beaches, scenic trails, and wildlife. Residents who live on Sark island enjoy a life of simplicity and peace. The people have formed strong bonds over the years of growing businesses and strengtheing the community. The small island features farms, restaurants, local pubs, museums, and an array of entertainment designed for visitors of the island to get a feel for what island life is like.
For visitors and locals alike, Sark is most well-known as one of the only locations in the world that have banned cars. Getting around requires walking, hitching a ride on a tractor, horse-drawn carriages, or cycling. There are many places on the island that can rent bicycles to tourists and residents to quickly get from one end of the island to the other.
Life on the island feels like a little slice of paradise filled with wildlife, incredible views, an absence of streetlights, and very little light pollution. Without light pollution, Sark is also known as one of the few Dark Sky islands. You can head outdoors after the sun sets to some of the more secluded areas on the island and experience some unbelievable stargazing.
Life on the island is quiet and reserved. The locals have the opportunity to visit the neighbouring opportunities by taking the local ferries to be able to enjoy the excitement on some of the busier islands.
Getting to Sark requires a trip on a ferry from neighbouring Guernsey or Jersey. You can also get there by hiring a charter boat to take you to Sark from any of the Channel Islands or directly from France or England. Getting to Guernsey or Jersey also allows you to get there by ferry from France or England or fly into the local airport before you head out by boat to Sark.
The Campaign to Grow the Population
The small population of locals that have flourished on the island are happy and enjoy the quaint island life they’ve been able to afford on this Channel Island destination. Over time, the population of Sark has begun to dwindle, leaving many beautiful homes, businesses, and properties empty for months, even years.
In early 2020, the Sark Society was created by Swen Lorenz, a German entrepreneur, in response to the rumours that the only supermarket might go out of business. Lorenz created the Sark Society with the vision of attracting newcomers seeking a new life to come and moving to the island and boosting, if not doubling, the population of Sark. Swen Lorenz has been a faithful resident of Sark since 2004.
The plan, which has been backed by the current Seigneur of Sark, Christopher Beaumont, has lofty goals to bring the population to 800 to 1,000 people to help ensure the financial security of the island. The small island has little space and is currently a peaceful, charming location where people choose to go to get away from the busy life of many hectic cities on the mainland in other countries. So how would this plan to increase the population impact the ecosystem and the locals on Sark today?
The goal of increasing the population of Sark isn’t to take away the peace and serenity the island has to offer. It’s to improve the security and stability of the island and its economy. To fill the empty homes with life and build up an even stronger community. Lorenz believes even with the rise in population, the small island won’t feel overcrowded.
The few hundred people the island hopes to choose to move there can provide them with a low cost of living in simplicity and old-fashioned values. Swen Lorenz has advertised the charm of the island as one of the draws, in addition to a life-changing opportunity where new residents can enjoy no income tax. In addition to no income tax, there’s no capital gains tax, no inheritance tax, no VAT, no employment law, and no bookkeeping requirements for both individuals and companies.
There are an estimated 400 properties on the island of Sark, of which around 150 are unoccupied. The real estate in Sark offers attractive prices for mortgages which for a long time had been illegal in Sark.
Moving to the island provides an opportunity for a peaceful life, and as for careers, people can work remotely on the island for any company that offers remote work, or they can try their hand at starting a new business to offer island residents and tourists a unique experience. Other islands and remote locations around the world have begun to create incentives similar to what the island of Sark has to offer to increase the population and boost economic growth.
Since the campaign began, the island’s population has grown impressively from around 450 residents to 600 residents today.