Co-operative Eco-Fund Donates £16,000 to Environmental Projects in the Channel Islands

Wednesday 27 September 14:28

The sale of carrier bags at The Channel Islands Co-operative Society stores are providing more than £16,000 in funding for 15 environmental projects in the islands this year.

The Society led the way in recycling in 2008 by levying a 5p charge on one-trip carrier bags resulting in a reduction in the number of carrier bags sold by a significant 90%. The proceeds from the sale of carrier bags helps support The Co-operative Eco-Fund which distribute grants to worthy local projects that protect and regenerate our local environment. Every year the Society invites applications from projects that have an environmental focus and provides financial support to as many of those as it can under the fund’s mandate.

‘We are thrilled that eight projects in Jersey and seven in Guernsey will benefit from the Eco-Fund. Each year, islanders continue to support this fund and improve the environment around us. Once again, The Co-operative Eco-Fund will benefit hundreds of people of all ages across the Channel Islands and we hope the money will make a significant difference to the projects involved,’ said Katey White, the Society’s Membership and Community Manager.

This year, 46 applications for funding were received across the islands, 15 of which have been successful.

The following are examples of just some of the projects that have received funding in Jersey: A squirrel bridge project, St Peter’s School Eco Gardeners, Acorn Reuse Centre, National Trust Volunteers, iBats, Oakwood Gardens and Birds on the Edge and Reusable Nappy Demo Kits.

A squirrel rope bridge project has received £350 from the Eco-Fund. Peter Houguez, volunteer of the squirrel bridge project said: ‘Thanks to the Eco-Fund, this funding will pay for the insurance costs and the construction of a rope bridge across La Route du Marais. I started looking into this project in October 2016 after seeing a new colony of squirrels in this area. The bridge is needed due to the squirrels feeding on both sides of the road, enabling them to cross safely as four squirrels have been killed this year when crossing the road.’

St Peter’s School Eco Gardeners in Jersey have received £800 from the fund to support its ‘recycling with a purpose’ ethos project. Funding will also be used to kit out the school garden shed and purchasing pond equipment enabling the children to explore the wildlife. The money will also contribute to buying timber to make a frame for an Eco green house, which is made out of plastic bottles and purchasing raspberry canes for their kitchen garden fruiting.

The Eco-Fund has also donated £1,500 to the Acorn Reuse Centre which reuses and upcycles and repairs unwanted items, and helps those with disabilities and long-term health conditions secure employment. The funding will go towards supporting and training clients who work in the centre, which will create 20 new job opportunities.

The National Trust Volunteers have received £1,000. Funding will be used to buy new tools for its community and corporate group volunteers who undertake various tasks on Trust land.

A further £390.16 has gone to the Reusable Nappy Demo Kits project. This funding will go towards promoting reusable nappy kits by providing displays and information leaflets at various health clinics and GP surgeries. The reusable nappies are kinder to babies skin with no harsh chemicals. The project aims to prevent excess waste and also help parents save money.

The projects selected in Guernsey are St Mary & St Michael Catholic Primary School, Guernsey Blind Association, La Hougette School, La Société Guernesiaise, Alderney Wildlife Trust, St Martin’s Community Wildlife Playground and Guernsey Beekeepers Association.

St Mary & St Michael Catholic Primary School have received £433 from the Eco-Fund. Melissa Lowen said: ‘We have been teaching the children in Reception class how to grow vegetables and fruit with the Society’s Goodness Gang seed pots, which has been very successful so far. The Eco-Fund project will help us to purchase more seeds for the children to continue growing and also provide them with healthy snacks on a daily basis until their vegetables are ready to eat. We want to encourage the importance of healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle to our children.’

The Eco-Fund has donated £1,500 to Guernsey’s Blind Association’s Sensory Garden at the St Andrew’s Community Centre. The funds will go towards replacing the fence around the pond to make it safe and secure.

La Houguette school have received £1,000, which will go toward building their outdoor classroom in the Peryn Dorey Nature reserve.

The Eco-Fund has also donated £1,000 to the Guernsey Pollinator Project, which is operated by La Société Guernesiaise. Funds will go towards setting up a similar project in Guernsey to one already established in the UK, in pioneering ‘B-Lines’, which are insect pathways and provides a solution to the loss of flowers and pollinators. The team at La Société want to work with businesses, schools, community groups and individual householders to create Guernsey B-Lines across the island.


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