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The Channel Islands Co-operative Society donates over £17,000 to local environmental projects

The Channel Islands Co-operative Society donates over £17,000 to local environmental projects

17 September 2018

THE Channel Islands Co-operative Society is providing more than £17,000 in funding for 17 environmental projects in the islands this year.

The Eco-Fund, now in its 10th year, contributed over £9,000 to worthy local projects that protect and regenerate our local environment. Every year, the Society invites applications from projects that have an environmental focus and provides financial support to as many of those as it can under the fund’s mandate.

This year, 30 applications for funding were received across the islands for the Eco-Fund, 13 of which have been successful.

‘We are thrilled to be able to support eight projects in Jersey and five in Guernsey with donations from our Eco-Fund. Each year, islanders continue to support this initiative and improve the environment around us. Once again, the Eco-Fund will benefit hundreds of people of all ages across the Channel Islands and we hope the donations will make a significant difference to the projects involved. This year, we are pleased to see that so many schools have applied and taken on proactive eco initiatives,’ said Tanya Dorrity, the Society’s Community Officer. 

The projects selected in Jersey include Les Landes School, Seedy Sunday, Grouville School, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Jersey Marine Conservation, Samares School, Grainville School and Bel Royal School.

Les Landes School has received £500 from the Eco-Fund. Headteacher, Vicki Charlesworth said: ‘We are passionate about encouraging and developing our children's experience outdoors. We have recently been learning about the importance of bees and the threat to bees. We began talks last year with the education department and the Jersey Beekeeper’s Association about the possibility of having bees on site. We have a busy garden and in the past we’ve kept chickens, which really engaged the children and supported nurture work in school. Thanks to the Eco-fund, we now hope that we will be able to have a bee hive in our garden.’

The Jersey branch of Seedy Sunday has received £500 from the fund to support and help raise the profile of its annual seed swap event in February. Seedy Sunday encourages people to save seeds from their garden plants and aims to raise awareness of seed biodiversity present in the island. The saved seeds collected will then go towards creating wildflower meadows in the future. Funding will be used to hire a larger venue for the event and to secure a celebrity gardener presenter..  

The Eco-Fund has also donated £1,000 to Grouville School, which plans to use the funding to regenerate Le Pre Arthur, a space in the school’s meadow, to be used as a bird hide overlooking the meadow and the pond. This will allow children to observe and record wildlife throughout the year.

Guide Dogs for the Blind has received £500 which will go towards advertising its ‘BIGGEST Book Sale’ event taking place next year.

A further £1,000 has gone to the Jersey Marine Conservation for its marine breeding clean-up project. The funding will go towards a floating sledge for recovering rubbish, as well as an electric engine to enter sensitive areas without noise or pollution. Chairman of the Jersey Marine Conservation, Kevin McIlwee, said: ‘No organisation exists to deal with these areas on island. During an intensive week of clean-ups, we collected over a tonne of just plastic debris. No more than 5% of our coastline gets cleared of harmful rubbish. Our plan is to take our small rib into coves along our coast and isolated parts of our reef system and clear these areas that never get touched. Thanks to the Eco-fund, we hope to make a big difference along the island’s coastline.’

Samares School has received £500 from the Eco-Fund to go towards its Kitchen Garden project. Funds from the Eco-Fund will be going towards getting a transparent composter installed at the school. Caring Cooks of Jersey has received £500 from the Eco-Fund to go towards its Kitchen Garden Project at Samares School.   Funds from the Eco-Fund will be going towards getting a transparent composter installed at the school. Caring Cooks CEO, Melissa Nobrega, said: ‘The plan is to fill the composter with the scraps from the children’s cooking, lunches and snacks and then track the composting process, which will allow the children to see how the composting process works for their science and outdoor learning.’ 

The Eco-Fund has donated £500 to Granville School for its school allotment. The funds will go towards purchasing the equipment for the running and maintenance of the allotment, which is attended to weekly by various groups of students. The funding will also be used for greenhouse repairs.

Bel Royal School has also received £500 in funding to go towards the refurbishment of its pond. Head teacher, Sonia Burton, said; ‘We have a pond which isn’t right for our children’s needs. We would like to make it accessible for all pupils, bearing in mind we also have students with physical disabilities. The pond is currently over grown and not a good environment for wildlife. We are trying to develop an environmentally and eco-friendly garden and we’re grateful to the Co-op for enabling us to take the first step towards this.’

The projects selected in Guernsey include Vale Primary School, Plastic Free Guernsey, Guernsey Conservation volunteers and Pick It Up Guernsey.

Aside from the Eco-Fund, the Co-op has also been actively supporting a number of other environmental projects in both Jersey and Guernsey, including £2,000 which was donated to the Western Rural Day Schools Wheelbarrow Competition.