Woodland restoration project gets underway

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The National Trust’s restoration of Mourier Valley Woodland got underway today when teams of volunteers from Jersey Electricity and Jersey Water joined forces to plant the first 350 trees on the windswept north coast valley slopes.

The two Jersey utilities have combined to fund the £40,000, three-year restoration of the 20-acre site in partnership with the National Trust and Jersey Tree for Life. This morning’s planting of the first of 6,000 trees was done with military precision as the Trust Lands Manager Jon Parkes and his team had mapped out the first field with colour-coded stakes to indicate which type of tree had to be planted where.

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Volunteers then had to select the trees from coloured buckets, dig a hole, plant the tree and replace the stake through a protective sleeve while their colleagues followed on behind with barrows of mulch.

Jon said: ‘This method works very well as we can’t have people just grabbing trees and planting them anywhere. We followed advice from the Woodland Trust on the planting formation. Rather than randomly scattering individual trees, we are planting in single species clusters to create a more natural feeling woodland as it develops. Today we have Rowan, Bird Cherry, Wild Cherry, Silver Birch and Oak and the teams are progressing at a great rate.’

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The volunteers were joined by the National Trust CEO Charles Alluto, Jersey Electricity CEO Chris Ambler and Jersey Water CEO Helier Smith who all joined in the planting. Charles Alluto said: ‘We are enormously grateful to all the employees from Jersey Electricity, Jersey Water and Jersey Trees for Life who helped us with the first phase of our tree planting. Despite the wind chill everyone appeared to really enjoy the task and it was wonderful to see such high levels of enthusiasm and commitment. This project clearly demonstrates the immense value of partnerships in delivering environmental initiatives for the benefit of our Island.’

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Chris Ambler said: ‘It’s terrific that two companies that mean so much to the Island have been able to come together to support this important project in partnership with the National Trust and Jersey Trees for life. And it’s important to our employees that they too can play an active part; it’s not just about providing financial support.

‘As one of the biggest tree-planting initiatives the Island has seen, everyone involved sees this as important initiative to safeguard biodiversity, offset carbon and help Jersey take action to become carbon neutral by 2030.’

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