Guernsey Press

Widow gives National Trust land to stop development

THE National Trust of Guernsey has been given a small patch of land in Vale to save it from future development.

Beryl Marsh has donated to the National Trust a small piece of land next to her Vale home to ensure it is never built on. The donation is in memory of her husband, Rex, who died in 2006. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31887283)

The agricultural land, which is less than half an acre in size, is on Les Rocques Barrees Road close to Vale Primary School’s playing fields.

It has been bestowed by Beryl Marsh, 83, in remembrance of her husband Rex, who died in 2006 at the age of 72.

‘I’ve had offers for the land but I didn’t want to see it developed,’ Mrs Marsh said.

‘People get so tied up with money they forget the beauty of the living things around them.’

The couple had worked the small patch of land adjacent to their bungalow for more than 30 years.

‘We grew all sorts of vegetables as well as strawberries and raspberries, and sold the produce at the hedge veg. We were practically self-sufficient. My husband really valued that land.’

Mrs Marsh said she first considered contacting the trust after reading about some land that was donated to it in St Saviour’s.

‘It set me thinking that I had this land that I couldn’t really use anymore and that I wouldn’t want to see developed,’ she said.

‘I offered it to the trust thinking they wouldn’t want it, but they snapped it up. Everyone thought it was a wonderful idea, these little patches of green need looking after, especially in the Vale.’

Mrs Marsh, who can no longer visit the area due to ill health, said she was happy that the land would be safeguarded for the future.

‘And I will still get to see the beauty of it from my window.’

NT president Mike Brown was immensely grateful for the donation.

‘We really do appreciate the generosity she has shown in giving us this land. And if it helps her remember her husband we are even more delighted to take this area on.’

The trust is planning to apply to have a gate added from Les Rocques Barrees Road to improve access to the site and add a stone or plaque in Mr Marsh’s memory.

Mr Brown said that the land would be maintained in accordance with the trust’s policy of not using herbicides and pesticides.

‘As the land is semi-agricultural we will probably carry on managing the land the same way and would be happy to hear from neighbouring farms who might be able to help us.’