A partnership between Guernsey’s Community Service and Castel parish has ensured that the site of Grantez Mill will remain a rural respite and respect the island’s farming history.
A little more than a year ago, four Castel douzeniers approached Guernsey’s Community Service programme about helping with the site.
Now, the walls of the gun battery are standing proud once again, and the bunker has been cleared of weeds and debris to allow visitors to enjoy the area.
A community grant from Floral Guernsey has also enabled the parish to place two benches on the site for islanders to enjoy the views and rural atmosphere of Castel.
‘We are very grateful to the community service workers that made this possible,’ said douzenier Nigel Acton.
‘We never could have done this on our own without their work.’
Grantez Mill was built in the 19th century when agriculture was a dominant industry. When the Germans invaded in 1940, the mill was torn down, and replaced with a war bunker and gun battery on the high point looking down on Vazon and Perelle.
As the years came and went, the site was disused and needed some attention.
Although the site has had a lot of renovations in the last year, Castel douzenier Mick Fooks said more works are planned to continue improvements.
‘We plan to put owl and kestrel boxes around the site and near the bunker,’ said Mr Fooks.
He said there are plans to plant 15 more trees in an area that was recently cleared of brush and debris. The extra stones from repairs to the battery will be cleaned up and utilised in time, and with luck, Mr Fooks said the flower meadow will be more successful in the coming spring as well.
‘This site became popular during lockdown, and we want to keep it beautiful, rural and environmentally friendly,’ he said.
Mr Acton, Mr Fooks, and fellow douzenier John Webster hoped that the public will help the parish maintain the site by taking care of the environment and appreciating the history and the beautiful views.