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350 down, 5,650 to go as huge tree-planting scheme begins

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STAFF from Jersey Electricity and Jersey Water spent a day in the field as a major tree-planting initiative began on the north coast.

Tree Planting at Mourier Valley Picture: TONY PIKE. (26627675)

Around 350 trees were planted at Mourier Valley in the first phase of a project that will encompass 6,000 trees over the next three years.

The £40,000 project is being funded by Jersey Electricity and Jersey Water, whose staff will take time out from their day-jobs to work alongside the National Trust for Jersey and Jersey Trees for Life.

The initiative forms part of the drive to safeguard biodiversity, offset carbon and help Jersey towards its aim of being carbon neutral by 2030.

Chris Ambler, chief executive of Jersey Electricity, reported ‘phenomenal’ interest from his employees.

‘We’ve had 50 or 60 people who wanted to take part and we’ll be rotating them so that everyone gets a chance,’ he said. ‘There is a real sense of purpose and people are engaged far more than if this was just a question of providing funds.’

Helier Smith, chief executive of Jersey Water, added: ‘This is a great example of organisations coming together for a common purpose and cause. The response we’ve had has been universally positive and this can be the start of creating something that will endure for centuries.’

The planting was co-ordinated by National Trust lands manager Jon Parkes, with colour-coded stakes used to denote different tree species – rowan, cherry, birch and oak. Each tree was covered with a protective sleeve and surrounded by mulch.

Mr Parkes said the planting season would stretch from December to March and that he hoped there would be an opportunity for all Islanders to get involved via the trust’s Jersey Conservation Volunteers group.

The area to be planted covers around 40 vergées of land owned variously by Jersey Water, the National Trust, the Crown and the Jersey Government.

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