The Parish Earth Partnership launched last year when JE offered all 12 parishes £5,000 each to densely plant and maintain a small plot with native trees and shrubs to increase biodiversity and aid carbon sequestration over the long term.
The late St Clement Connétable Len Norman was the first Connétable to seize the opportunity. He identified the large meadow above the churchyard, which was no longer viable for potato growing, and quickly progressed the necessary planning consents.
With the continued support of Canon David Shaw, new Connétable Marcus Troy and Procureurs Sandra Mathew and Geoff Pirouet, St Clement’s project is the first out of the ground and comprises of 10 species selected for the area by Nurture Ecology. What is more, due to the overall size of the land it has available, St Clement is planting an even larger woodland by offering trees for parishioners to sponsor in memory of loved ones. So far, the parish has sponsors for 50 trees that will complement the Parish Earth Partnership plot by further aiding carbon sequestration in future and provide a relaxing natural space for parishioners to enjoy.
JE CEO Chris Ambler said: ‘The initial idea behind the Parish Earth Partnership was to rally the community and effect lasting improvements to Jersey’s environment by increasing biodiversity and, over the longer term, aid carbon sequestration. As Jersey seeks to become net-zero by 2050, we believe local sequestration is of greater benefit to our Island than international carbon offsets as the investment remains within the local community.
‘We knew this would be a multi-year project due to the processes involved and I’m delighted St Clement have been able to get to the planting stage thanks to the early efforts of Len Norman, continued support of his successor Connétable Marcus Troy and Parish officials, and that the project has been the catalyst for even more tree planting. I would personally like to thank all those involved.’
Speaking on behalf of the Parish, Geoff Pirouet said: Our late Connétable left our parish with a great sense of environmental responsibility in all that we do and this microforest and surrounding sponsored woodland is a tribute to him.
‘I thank all of those who have helped plant and create this forest, in particular the land team at the Parish and our Sexton and, of course Jersey Electricity for its sponsorship. We may be the smallest Parish in our Island by land size but in this we, like the trees we are planting, will stand tall for decades to come.’
St Peter, St Lawrence, St Helier, St Saviour and St John have all identified plots and hope to plant next season subject to planning permissions.