The National Trust for Jersey’s Wildlife Hedge Fund yielded its first dividend this week when staff from Jersey Electricity planted hedges around a large Trust-owned farm field at La Feverie, Trinity, backed by donations to the fund for customers who switched to ebills.
Under the guidance of Trust Ranger Will Kirby, 17 Jersey Electricity employees planted over 300 Hawthorns and Blackthorn in just a few hours, prompting Will to say: ‘You’re certainly a productive lot at Jersey Electricity! We didn’t expect you to get that much done so quickly.’
The staff from Production, Distribution, Finance, Planning and a Board Director also planted two Elms that are part of the 80 the Trust has planted around the Island to mark its 80th anniversary last year. Overhead Linesman Martin Sampson said: ‘My job often involves cutting trees down if they are interfering with overhead power lines so I thought it would be nice to put a few back!’
JE donated £5 for every customer who switched from paper bills to ebills during the autumn enabling the Trust to start restoring the Island’s Elm population and launch the Wildlife Hedge Fund. The charity hopes to plant 1km of hedges a year around its 600 vergees of agricultural land to provide food, shelter and nesting for birds and travel networks for hedgehogs and other wildlife.
JE’s Customer Service Manager Jerry Robins said: ‘We are pleased that we and our customers can help the Trust make a real difference to our countryside. Over half our customers now receive ebills and we’d like to continue this initiative to create more hedges and encourage customers to move to ebills. The Company thought it would be a nice gesture for staff to get involved in the planting of these first hedges on behalf of our customers.’
JE offers customers a discount of £3 a quarter if they receive ebills and pay by either Monthly or Variable Direct Debit as this cuts administration costs. This can be arranged over the phone by calling 505460.