Guernsey has stunning scenery and a huge array of wildlife. But its rich natural habitats need protecting and nurturing. Now, a total of £40,000 of States funding is up for grabs for local projects that want to achieve just that.
Julia Henney: ‘We’re so fortunate. We have a really unique and rich natural history around us. We have species that can’t be found anywhere else. Beautiful landscapes. It’s a wonderful to be able to undertake these projects, but wildlife really does need our support because there are a lot of pressures and threats affecting it. We’re aware of the pressures on our environment and we’re also aware that we need to help. A lot of people really want to help, but sometimes it’s just about showing people how they can intervene and make that change.’
The Pollinator Project, which created a pollinator patch at Candie Gardens, is one of the local organisations that previously received the funding and since then they’ve gone from strength to strength, helping Islanders celebrate Guernsey’s rich flora and fauna.
Gordon Steele: [There’s a] huge amount to be done. … We talk a lot but we have got to take action. The Strategy for Nature really needs funding to support it, not just from government. It’s not something that government just delivers. It’s something we all need to participate in. And the theme of connecting with nature, caring for nature, engaging people with nature is absolutely vital’.
And the work undertaken to support Guernsey’s bees and butterflies is benefiting the island and its residents more widely.
‘Three quarters of all the food that we eat needs pollination and our pollinators are dying out around the world. Guernsey is no exception to that. We’re losing the insects that we rely on. Without them, we won’t have strawberries, raspberries, coffee, chocolate, plums, apples, pears, all the things that we really enjoy.’
Those behind Guernsey’s nature strategy say the timing is apt as the damaging effects of global warming are at the forefront of people’s minds.
Julia Henney: ‘All the research says that we are going to be faced with quite some quite severe impacts of climate change and that won’t just affect us. It will also affect our natural environment and we need a resilient environment to be able to handle that. But also our environment can be one of the tools in our arsenal to try and reduce the impacts of climate change through things like nature based solutions applications.
Applications (for the fund) are now open with the hope that new projects could help boost biodiversity and restore resilience.