Swapping a knife and fork for a fork and spade

STAFF normally working in the hospitality sector have joined the National Trust for Jersey in its campaign to restore the Island’s hedgerows.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30223424)
Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30223424)

Recruitment company GR8 has employed five people who are currently prevented from doing their normal jobs by the pandemic restrictions and deployed them instead to help in an initiative launched last year by the Trust to plant ten miles of hedgerow across the Island.

The focus of their efforts, supervised by the project’s co-ordinator Conrad Evans, is currently on a stretch between Victoria Village through Maufant to Queen’s Valley to the north and south to La Hougue Bie.

Charles Alluto, chief executive of the National Trust for Jersey, explained that, in spite of the growing public support for the campaign, the project had been paused because the agriculture industry needed all its available staff for regular duties.

‘However, we were absolutely delighted to receive support from GR8 and the hospitality industry, to help us plant more hedgerows well in excess of our original goal. As a charity, we rely heavily on the generosity of our members and benefactors and this help from GR8 will also go a long way towards securing the success of this project,’ he said.

The company’s managing director Lee Madden said that they wanted to fulfil the dual objectives of improving biodiversity and providing employment for those in a sector devastated by the pandemic.

‘We have a strong partnership with the Jersey Hospitality Association, working with them since the start of the crisis to find jobs for staff who cannot work due to Covid-19 restrictions, and we saw this short-term project as an ideal way to support hospitality while it is shut down and to contribute to the Island’s goal to tackle climate change,’ he said.

The work – which involves planting 4,500 whip-sized plants measuring 40 to 60cms, including some trees – will provide habitat, and help to support and protect many species of wildlife in the Island.

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