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Botany section pleased to be back to nature

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THE botany section of La Societe Guernesiaise broke out of lockdown on Saturday with its first guided walk for four months.

The first post-lockdown walk organised by the botany section of La Societe Guernesiaise was led by Helen Litchfield, second left. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 28434294)

About 30 people took the chance to learn about plants on the beach near the Vale Church and around the Vale Pond.

Helen Litchfield, botany section co-secretary with Anna Cleal, said interest in the walks was increasing.

‘Numbers are going up and at our last walk in March at St Saviour’s Reservoir there must have been 30 to 40 people,’ she said.

‘I think people are a lot more interested in the natural world these days and particularly since lockdown.’

The botany section has about 60 active members though walks are open to all.

The aim is to explore the rich variety of habitats that the island offers so people can enjoy botany and its associated wildlife. They look at trees and lower plants as well as the familiar native wild flowers and rarities too.

Former Bailiff Sir Geoffrey Rowland has been a member of La Societe for many years, though this was his first botany walk in a long time. He met his wife, Diana, in October 1967 while they were students at Southampton University. Lady Rowland was studying botany at the time.

‘We live at L’Ancresse and we wanted to see what somebody else could point out to us on our doorstep,’ he said.

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‘We rejoice in the environment and I think people are rejoicing in being out of lockdown too.’

Printer Richard Pearson, 53, was taking part for the first time though he said botany was a passion.

‘I love wild areas and natural plants,’ he said. ‘I’ve made an effort to get to know more plants and I’ve improved my knowledge over the past few years and I find it fascinating. You find yourself looking at things as you go around the island and noticing the differences between coastal and inland areas. It’s just a shame that so much is being destroyed.’

. The botany section aims to hold walks monthly, changing location every time. Due to the Covid-19 cancellations they will be holding an evening one at Fort Doyle, L’Ancresse, starting at 6pm on Wednesday, Perry’s P7 H1. All are welcome.

. Further information is available at https://societe.org.gg/wp/botany/

Nigel Baudains

By Nigel Baudains
News reporter

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