Guernsey Press

La Societe seeks land to add to network of nature reserves

LA SOCIETE Guernesiaise is on the lookout for land to add to the organisation’s network of nature reserves.

La Societe President Trevor Bourgaize at the nature reserve at Le Jardin de Lorette, the site of a former greenhouse that was donated to the charity in 1997. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32993507)

La Societe conservation officer Jamie Hooper said it was particularly keen for planting sites and donations for its community woodland initiative, but would consider just about anything.

‘We are looking for worthwhile-size plots but it is really depends on the specific site,’ he said.

‘There are a lot of variables but basically we would happily have a conversation about any potential donation.’

He added that areas La Societe would like to hear about included small fields not suitable for commercial farming, and that included former glasshouse sites.

‘We have already established two nature reserves on former greenhouses that islanders donated to safeguard them,’ he said.

‘Both of these areas now have planted orchards and meadow areas and are open to the public.’

The sites at La Marette and Jardin de Lorette were donated in 2011 and 1997.

La Societe launched its new community woodland project last autumn in the hope of linking existing woodlands and increasing the number of native species, like common ash and English oak.

Guernsey has less than 8% woodland cover, compared to 12% in the UK and 42% across mainland Europe. As well as providing publicly-accessible spaces, La Societe hopes any new woodland areas could provide suitable locations for islanders to plant memorial trees for loved ones.

‘Community woodlands are a great way to ensure that wildlife is safeguarded in places where we all live and work,’ said La Societe president Trevor Bourgaize.

‘We are particularly keen to establish woodlands in the north of Guernsey to counter the ongoing urbanisation of that part of the island.’