Sark vines vandalised on eve of protest

THREE vineyards belonging to Sark Estate Management were vandalised on Friday night, hours before a protest against them.

Guernsey Police’s DC Simon Shrigley picks up one of the tension wires which was cut by vandals who caused an estimated tens of thousands of pounds-worth of damage to Sark’s vineyards. (Picture by Marion Falle)
Guernsey Police’s DC Simon Shrigley picks up one of the tension wires which was cut by vandals who caused an estimated tens of thousands of pounds-worth of damage to Sark’s vineyards. (Picture by Marion Falle)

THREE vineyards belonging to Sark Estate Management were vandalised on Friday night, hours before a protest against them.

Managing director Kevin Delaney said tens of thousands of pounds-worth of damage had been caused.

Two police officers from Guernsey were called to the island when the damage was discovered on Saturday morning as staff turned up for work.

Mr Delaney said his heart went out to the vineyard workers.

‘They are absolutely destroyed. One job will be to mend the vines, but it will be an even bigger job dealing with these people, who are distraught. This act makes me more determined than ever to see the project through.’

Saturday’s protest march was over concerns about the effects on Sark’s landscape, water supplies and wildlife from the continued cultivation of farmland for vines.

Comments for: "Sark vines vandalised on eve of protest"


definitely the work of more than one person...that's a lot of damage to be done so quickly they weren't caught red handed.....


Agree Scarlett

Part of me thinks that all is not what it seems.

I'm being very careful what i say here as I don't want to be censored.


It's unfortunate that my comment was not represented in it's entirety, therefore the point I was making was somewhat lost....

it's equally unfortunate that certain local media doesn't appear quite as keen to print anything which is critical of the SEM as it is to give front page space and report every utterance from them, however lacking in proof of it's various spurious accusations against the Sarkees may be....

and finally, it's VERY unfortunate that such an extensive 'crime', executed so efficiently and effectively, without detection, should coincidentally happen on the eve of a very well planned peaceful protest against the matter in hand, which again. purely coincidentally, makes the protesters look really, really bad.

I would investigate further, but a very important operational matter came up, and I was unable to.

Donkey's Wotsits

I totally agree with your thoughts. SEM must think we're all daft.



I tend to agree with you, it was the first thought that came to me.

Who would have been stupid enough to do that damage on the eve of what was probably going to be a big demonstration and risk the demonstrators being blamed for it?


When I recently looked at the vineyard in the Dixcart Valley the vines were absolutely bare. Nothing much to vandalise. I have a much more productive Fig tree in my London back garden.


Sounds like a case of a mild weed killer being used to me!

Donkey's Wotsits

That's nothing compared to the wider vandalism occurring to farmland and wildlife habitats across the island of Sark.


Does anybody know what the details are of the impacts mentioned (wildlife / water supplies / landscape)? I understand that they are situated on farmland. Other agricultural activities no doubt have similar impacts. It would be interesting to know if the concerns are backed up by facts. Either way vandalism is shameful form of protest and seems totally OTT.

Re previous comment, despite the fact that the vines were bare there is still plenty of scope for damage. Perhamps the vines had just been pruned, has lost there leaves or are just being established? Uprooting plants, damaging stems, wires, posts, irrigation pipes, plant protection collars, it all costs money. They may not have leaves or grapes but they are still there!!

Donkey's Wotsits

Baseline data is always hard to come by when things are moving so quickly. You need months of monitoring to collect a reasonable amount of information on habitats, plants, invertebrates, birds etc and that simply isn't possible here.

However, by removing permanent pasture, coastal grasslands, gorse heath etc and replacing them with intensively-managed vineyards, there is no doubt that Sark's biodiversity is being significantly reduced. Also, the viability of the remaining land for farming is similarly reduced.

Betty Swollocks

A case of sour grapes perhaps?


I suspect that if the Barclay Brothers were to hand out £50 notes there would still be an element in Sark that would complain about it


Yeah, they'd be right to aswell. The only free cheese is found on a mousetrap!


that's because not everything is about money and some people can't be bought, Bob.


Obviously plenty of people in Sark can be though, hence people selling up to the Barclays. YOU may want to live in a backward feudal society where people sit around counting their toes all day, but don't assume that everyone does.


Just hope Guernsey Police have an open mind. Why would the people who care about Sark do this on the eve of a protest? Funny timing if you ask me.


This type of behaviour can only be to the detriment of those protesting and to the benefit of those they are protesting about. Whoever did it are either stupid or devious.

Sarkese parlair

Stop `wining` you lot!


So, no 'crime' to speak of or particularly report on in Sark for years and years prior to the arrival of SEM, and now, we have the Guernsey police over there not once, but twice recently, the first being to investigate 'gun control' and now this 'vandalism' investigation....

the common link to both costly time wasting exercises (which will bear as much fruit as the 2.6 mill scam 'investigation, or, come to think of it, those sad looking, non existent vines) is the apparent 'threat' to SEM's KD and damage to SEM's excuse for a vineyard....

something is rotten in the state of Sark; the stink is beginning to waft in Guernsey's direction and costing local tax payers money they can ill afford.

I wonder how much longer this attempt at establishing a banana - or should I say - grapevine - republic in a once peaceful and lovely sister isle of ours will be allowed to go on?

Thank god for people like Mr Sweeney who have the b*Ils to take on this force regardless of legal action, who knows, perhaps his latest programme on the subject will attract some 'outsider' to do something to assist our little sister, as Guernsey's establishment seems to not care, or be too scared to do anything.

incredibly sad.


Ah, I see your point now, it's Kevin Delaney's fault that someone threatened to shoot him, and SEM's fault that their property has been vandalised.

As for establishing a "banana or grapevine republic" you are surely having a laugh, bearing in mind the feudal situation that still exists. As for John Sweeney, the man is an absolute idiot who is unable to control himself, much like many of Sark's indigenous population.



You like the word feudal alot. Someone else seems to be barking (mad)

that word around alot lately...

I think its more feudal in the sense of the overlords owning so much land and business; living in their big towering castle; having their vassal provide services to manage their lands and command their presence; giving permission for the local serfs to graze their animals for their own livelihood and to celebrate local festivities, pretty much own everyone then hire and fire with no thought to social consequence.

the man

@ Dani. yes couldn't agree more. but wait a minute, isn't that the way that sark has always been? yes, yes it is. its just that now there are different rich people with a different big house and the old sark people dont like it. nothing has changed


It's called cause and effect, Phil, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and I repeat, before SEM turned up, we could have probably counted on one hand the amount of time Guernsey Police spent investigating 'crime' over there, and BOTH times lately it's been linked to SEM.

As for you mysteriously 'knowing' from my one comment about not everyone being able to be bought what the inner workings of my soul are, Phil, and that I want a 'feudal society' where everyone sits round counting their toes, I'll do some Derren Brown mind reading right back at ya, and say I 'know' which side of the vine fencing you sit on.

The feudalism that exists in Sark hasn't been half as damaging and upsetting,it seems, to most of it's general populace, as the new form of feudalism that certain parties seem intent on inflicting on them, whether they want it or not, and for far more personal and very finance driven reasons than altruistic intentions that are publicly declared to sanitise this behaviour.

John Sweeney lost it, once, sure, very publicly, infamously, and on camera, but so what, and who's to say that it means he isn't still a damned good investigative journalist?

I look forward to his programme and him sharing his finds with the world with great interest, as, I am sure, do many.


SEM haven't been "linked" to the crimes, they've been the victim!!

Your surely not suggesting that the Seigneur and his cronies are altruistic, I nearly fell off my chair at that thought!!

Guern abroad

Have a read of the term 'Plutocracy' as it fits what is happening in Sark now, and I do not feel it is an improvement on 'Feudalism' but a step backwards.



To be accurate, it is the direct consequence of KD's surly demeanour that has lead to the outbreak of lawlessness.

If KD had bene blessed with a genial and engaging manner - and had worked with the people and their lawfully elected representatives - instead of ruthlessly pursuing his campaign of sacking/bullying, vilification, confrontation and defiance at every opportunity, none of this would have happened, would it?


Another enlightened post from another feudal supporter. Surly = deserved to be shot?

I think that KD/SEM/the Barclays have shown remarkable restraint in the way they have dealt with a regime which is undemocratic and unreasonable. In my opinion they could be forgiven for closing down each and every one of their businesses, which would effectively shut down the island.



It managed before and it would manage again, but much more peacefully.



It managed (badly) before, and don't forget that the Sark Lark doesn't generate as much as it used to.

If they shut everything down, left the buildings to rot, and increased rents to the point where businesses couldn't pay them, what do you think would happen?

Guern abroad

SEM would look even more like it had thrown their toys out of the pram yet again and look poor of character and show true colours of what is happening.

None of this is being done for the good of Sark.

It would be far eaiser to just pay tax!


Deserved to be shot! Don't make me laugh! The man who said that is totally harmless and wouldn't hurt a fly-it was just a careless turn of phrase and the much spoken of "explosive device " was in fact a bird scarer.


@Phil - you seem to have a capacity for exaggeration and the distortion of reality. Surly = one who needs to learn a few manners.

No one wants to see anyone made a martyr; although I have no doubt the additional work of constructing a shrine, and flogging holy water flavoured with Bordeaux Mix would be sold to gullible Brecqhou visitors as another act of boundless beneficence.


Oh my goodness. I just spilled my tea laughing, and the puddle it formed is definitely in the shape of a picture of KD. Is this a further sign?


Well one question. Who sold all this property?


Absolutely agree confused - someone sold these fields or is renting them to SEM, so not all of Sark is totally opposed to them.


sorry, I totally disagree, Grumpy.

The inference is that property vendors have some sort of control over what their purchasers do with their property once it is sold, and that is simply not true.

Landlords can have some say over what tenants do on their property, but even if it is immoral, as long as it's legal, there's really no room to object to what they're up to.

The people who chose to sell/lease land/property to Sark Estate Management had no idea at that time what the intended usage for the land was, or what the mass purchasing of Sark was intended to achieve, indeed, the big picture only became apparent when SEM had bought up sufficient amounts to give the Barclays more power over what happens in Sark....

what made it apparent was the pre election coercing and post election closure of all their businesses because the vote didn't go their way, followed by an unrelenting vindictive assault on the hearts and minds of the Sarkees by SEM's regular 'news letter'.

the man

@the big boys did it'....

"The inference is that property vendors have some sort of control over what their purchasers do with their property once it is sold, and that is simply not true.

Landlords can have some say over what tenants do on their property, but even if it is immoral, as long as it’s legal, there’s really no room to object to what they’re up to."

the first 2 paragraphs of your comment are brilliant. i couldn't agree more. nobody can tell anybody else what they can or cannot do with their property. so therefore the protests are not valid and chief pleas cannot tell delaney he cant plant vines. brilliant.


Sania expat

Does anyone know Why has the Panorama investigation scheduled for tomorrow night been axed in favour of one about badgers??? The former DG of the BBC apparently axed it before "resigning".



It does look like he was struggling with the role as he wasn't there very long - but isn't that a nice pay off?

I see no reason given for the sudden cancellation however.