The Channel Islands Co-operative Society are once again looking for schools, community groups, charities and individuals who go that extra mile to protect the local environment by awarding them a donation to help fund their projects.
Now in its 11th year, the Society’s Eco fund has distributed thousands of pounds to projects that have an environmental focus including protecting Guernsey’s bees, supporting the Alderney Wildlife Trust, kickstarting a squirrel conservation project in Jersey and supporting endangered birds.
Last year the Eco fund provided more than £17,000 in funding to 14 environmental projects across the Channel Islands. Applications for this year’s fund will open on Monday 10 June and close on Wednesday 10 July.
The Society continues to support and protect the local environment and its long-term goal remains for all product packaging to be recyclable ¬- an initial target has been set to reduce the amount of plastic packaging up to 80 per cent by 2020. In 2018, the Society phased out single-use carrier bags and is continuing to work with local suppliers to reduce the amount of plastic used in packaging.
Les Landes School were one of the successful applicants last year and received £500 to enhance their school nature garden with chickens and bees. Year three teacher and eco coordinator, Jo Price said: ‘At Les Landes we focus on wellbeing, nurture and care. Outdoor learning is hugely important to all our pupils and by having chickens at our school our children experience a number of benefits, including helping them to talk about their problems, learning about responsibility and where their food comes from.
‘Thanks to the Eco fund we have been able to purchase a new chicken coop and concrete base for our school chickens, to protect them against vermin. The Co-op’s Eco fund has enabled us to safely house the chickens, and allowed us to continue with this important aspect of education for the children.’
One of the key factors the judges look for when choosing successful applicants is the wide-reaching impact the project will have on the Channel Island’s sustainable heritage – whether that be through education, the marine environment or simply in islanders own back garden.
The Society’s head of marketing Carl Winn said: ‘The Society’s Eco fund has been a huge success since its launch in 2011. We have supported hundreds of projects which have benefitted people of all ages across the islands and helped improve the environment we live in.
‘We are always looking at ways to reduce our impact on the environment and it’s fantastic to be able to support other islander’s initiatives across the Channel Islands. I would encourage anyone who has an idea to make our islands more environmentally friendly to apply for the fund, whether you are school, charity, or an individual.’
Those wishing to apply for this year’s Eco fund can do so online until Monday 10 July at channelislands.coop/eco-fund. Or by downloading a form and sending it to Julie Le Cornu, headed Eco fund, at Co-operative House, Don Street, JE2 4TR. Full terms and conditions can be found online.