This field is classified as ‘improved grassland’ and has been in all three habitat surveys (i.e. in 1999, 2010 and 2018).
It appears to have been maintained as permanent grassland (i.e. it has not been ploughed) for a considerable time and therefore has value as a carbon store. As such, it deserves protection from development.
Carbon moves between land, soil, the atmosphere and oceans. Fossil fuels, cement and land-use change (all human contribution) equate to an increase of billions of tons of carbon per year. In contrast, valuable natural carbon stores reduce its concentration in the atmosphere.
Some might say that, in the grand scale of reducing carbon in the atmosphere, the loss of a small field in Guernsey won’t make an impact. But these losses add up and Guernsey should be contributing in a positive way.
We understand that it may be a difficult task deciding what land should be used for development, but while other options are possible that are less damaging to both quality of life and the environment (eg. derelict/disused buildings), it is not acceptable that important green lungs such as these are constantly at threat.
This green field, consisting of grassland and trees, is also likely to support assemblages of permanent grassland-associated species. We sincerely hope that these species are permitted to live and that this field is permitted to continue its important role.
Going forward and calling all of Guernsey’s deputies – please ensure that the IDP review is sufficient to halt the unnecessary loss of further valuable green fields.
Please also seriously consider putting immediate measures in place to protect such fields in the interim, as it has been indicated that IDP changes will take years rather than weeks or months to implement.
THE DELANCEY CONSERVATION COMMITTEE