We're delighted to announce that the top prize in the 25th Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards in Jersey was shared by two worthy projects.
In equal first position, receiving £1500 each, was the National Trust of Jersey for their work on the former Pontin’s Holiday Camp at Plemont, and Little Feet Environmental, whose work removing marine debris from Jersey beaches greatly impressed judges.
Natasha Lucock, our Jersey manager and chair of the judging panel, said that the two organisations were very different from each other in size, but were equally passionate about their projects:
‘We could not separate them. We are greatly impressed by the excellent work undertaken at Plemont to turn a real eyesore into a site of natural beauty. There is a long way to go still but the removal of all the old buildings and their footings must have been an extremely difficult task and the National Trust of Jersey’s hard work and vision for the future should be applauded. Eventually it will be a site that the whole of the island can be proud of.
‘We were bowled over by the commitment of Little Feet organisers and volunteers to clean up local beaches. Since 2011 they have removed thousands of kilograms of abandoned lobster pots, ropes, plastic bottles, lost fishing gear and polystyrene that can pose a threat to native flora and fauna. They are also very keen to reduce their own ecological footprint by replacing the plastic rubbish bags they use with recyclable collection containers that can be used all year round.’
The Manpower Award, where Insurance Corporation staff in Jersey donate a day of their time, goes to Robert Ward for his efforts in studying and conserving the local grass snake and glow-worm population. Mr Ward’s project, which runs until October 2016, seeks to determine the population of both species along with investigating their movements and habitat.
The Peter Walpole’s People’s Choice Award, as voted for by islanders on the Insurance Corporation website, went to Robert Ward for his work on Grass Snake conservation. He received 34% of the overall vote and was awarded £500 to fund his initiative.
A new award, the Insurance Corporation Young Conservationists Award, went to Grand Vaux School for their nature conservation pond in the school grounds. They receive a £25 voucher.
Last year’s winners of the main award were Societe Jersiaise’s Marine Biology Section (MBS), chaired by Francis Binney, who carry out surveys around Jersey’s shores in their efforts to help protect and preserve the vulnerable and diverse habitats that can be found there.