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Herm (Guernésiais: Haerme) is the smallest of the Channel Islands that is open to the public and is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Cars are banned from the small island just like its Channel Island neighbour, Sark. Unlike Sark, bicycles are also banned. However, Herm does allow quad bikes and tractors for the locals.

Herm won the 2002 and 2008 Britain in Bloom competition in the 'Small Coastal Resort' category, despite not being part of the UK (it is in the Bailiwick of Guernsey).



Ancient history

Herm was occupied in prehistoric times; the remains of Neolithic chamber tombs have been found on the island.

Middle Ages

The first records of Herm's inhabitants in historic times are from the 6th century, when the island became a centre of monastic activity; the name 'Herm' supposedly derives from hermits who settled there (although an alternative interpretation derives Herm from Norse erm referring to an arm-like appearance of the island). However, the monks suffered from the inclement Atlantic; in 709, a storm washed away the strip of land which connected the island with the small uninhabited island of Jethou.

The most important moment in Herm's political history was 933, when the Channel Islands were annexed to the Duchy of Normandy (they remain a British Crown Dependency since the division of Normandy in 1204). After the annexation, Herm gradually lost its monastic inhabitants, and between 1570 and 1737 it was used as a hunting ground by the governors of Guernsey.

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