The Environmental Focus Fund was launched by Waitrose & Partners in September and supports local environment projects, from reducing plastic and creating sustainable products to nurturing wildlife and nature. The projects can be diverse as long as they can demonstrate that they will tackle issues impacting Guernsey and Jersey’s environment.
The first charities in Guernsey that will receive funding are La Societe Conservation Herd and the DolFin Project. In Jersey, Jersey Trees for Life was also selected to benefit from the fund. Each project will receive £2,500.
La Société Conservation Herd was established in 2014 as a conservation tool to manage some of Guernsey’s most important nature reserves. They will put the money towards getting their car fixed which is used to transport the cows and equipment.
Julia Henney, from the Conservation Herd, said: “We help manage some of Guernsey's most important nature reserves, from L'Ancresse Common to the Orchid Meadows. To get the cattle and the equipment from place to place we rely on our Land Rover. Unfortunately, during a regular service significant rust was found and the chassis was condemned. This generous donation from Waitrose’s Environmental Focus Fund will help pay for the repairs needed to get the Land Rover back on the road and we're so grateful for their support.”
The DolFin Project uses citizen science and public input of photographs and information such as date and locations to monitor dolphin species in Guernsey. They will put the money towards regular dedicated dolphin survey trips which the public can take part in.
Jersey Trees for Life is the only charity devoted to protecting the Island's trees and woodlands. Its work includes woodland restoration and the planting of thousands of trees each year in woods, copses and hedgerows. The charity works closely with other conservation groups to aid the survival of threatened local species and it campaigns for preservation orders on trees in peril. It also runs a busy community environmental educational programme.
The money will go towards the charity’s hedgerow education campaigns.
Robin Hart, from the Jersey Trees for Life, said: “Our hedgerow campaign is creating and reconnecting living corridors across the island to protect our wildlife from the busy lanes and roads. Hedgerow provides a wildlife-friendly habitat for pollinators and predators, natural fertility and a living ground cover.
“We’re planning to plant 10,000 hedgerows whips around the Island and the money donated from the Waitrose Environmental Focus Fund will help us to continue our campaign and to support our community education programme. We’re extremely grateful and appreciate this help and support from Waitrose.”
Pick it Up Guernsey and La Societe Guernesaise’s Marine Biology project will also receive a donation.
Paula Protheroe, Branch Manager and Director at Waitrose & Partners, said: ““At Waitrose & Partners we take environmental issues very seriously, and are making progress all the time, but we’re determined to maintain our momentum as well as supporting others to do the same.
“We’re thrilled to have this fund that will support projects that protect the Channel Island environment. We hope the donations will make a real difference and inspire the local community to act and find new ways to reduce our environmental footprint. The projects we have chosen all do fantastic work and will make a tangible impact that will have long term benefits for our islands.”
If you’re interested in applying for next year’s Environmental Focus Fund please contact:
Waitrose & Partners is passionate about reducing its impact on the environment and encourages customers to bring reusable containers to take home products from the supermarket’s fresh service counters with the aim of saving half-a-million plastic bags a year in the Channel Islands. The retailer has also replaced loose fruit and vegetable bags with a home compostable alternative and has pledged to make all its own-brand packaging widely-recycled, reusable or home compostable by 2020.
To find out more about what Waitrose is doing to reduce plastic and supply environmentally friendly alternatives visit: https://www.waitrose.com/home/inspiration/about_waitrose/the_waitrose_way/packaging.html