The Government has defended paying a UK company almost £25,000 to draw up plans for how signage in the countryside should look in future.
According to the Director of Natural Environment, Willie Peggie, the Government was forced to recruit Cornwall-based The Way Design for its 'visitor experience and signage strategy' because "there is no one in the local market with this expertise or experience".
The 35-page strategy - which cost the Government a total of £24,800 - aimed to build on some of the key objectives of the Countryside Access Strategy for Jersey 2016, which said that signage should be consistent and have minimal impact on the island's landscape.
Pictured: The first protected area to receive the new signs will be Les Landes Site of Special Interest.
With this brief, The Way Design created a new branding and design toolkit suitable for external organisations as well as other Governmental departments to use to ensure consistency and improve the experience of those visiting Jersey’s natural sites.
The £24,800 cost did not include the printing, manufacture and installation of the resulting new signs, and Government confirmed that this part of the project will "go out to tender shortly, including to local sign companies".
Pictured: Some of the signage designs included in the toolkit.
The Government's Director of Natural Environment defended the necessity of the almost £25,000 spent on the strategy, explaining that "in various surveys and consultations, poor countryside signage has been highlighted by islanders as an issue."
Mr Peggie continued: "Funding was allocated in a previous Government Plan to implement a signage strategy to provide clear route marking and health and safety messaging, and we want to ensure that consistent messages are given to islanders, whilst ensuring that the impact of signs on the landscape is minimal.
"We don't wish to see a cluttered, unrelated jumble of out-of-date styles across Jersey's countryside."
Pictured: The £24,800 spent covered the cost of the creation of a 'countryside signage and design toolkit', but not the making of the signs.
He added: "The project to redesign and consolidate countryside signage was a collaborative one, with excellent joint-working with members of the Jersey Access Service Providers (JASP).
"Heritage and environment interpretation design is a precise discipline, requiring specialist input, and there is no one in the local market with this expertise or experience.
"The organisation used has many years of experience, and works within the countryside, environmental, tourism and heritage sectors in the UK, including with National Parks.
"The printing, manufacture and installation of the resulting new signs on Les Landes Site of Special Interest will go out to tender shortly, including to local sign companies."
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