Choughs claim top prize for conservation

By Liz Corry

It’s coming home. It’s coming home. It’s coming, the Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards 2018 are coming home“.

Insurance Corporation logoOK so not as catchy, but the sentiment is the same. Our work with the choughs (see earlier blog entry here) claimed top prize at this year’s Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards. And yes, we are well chuffed.

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Michelle Arundale, Chairperson of the Judging Panel and organiser of the event, said that this was the first time they had to draw up a shortlist of entries in the awards’ 28 year history. Michelle said, “we had such a fabulous response this year and we were delighted to see such a variety of projects entering.” and that judging provided “a chance to meet the inspirational people behind the projects doing their utmost to enhance our natural environment in so many different ways.”

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Michelle Arundale, Chairperson of the Judging panel and organiser of the event. Photo courtesy of Insurance Corporation

Ronez logoYou can watch an edited version of ITV News interview here. It looks at how the choughs and Ronez Quarry have been working together to improve Jersey’s biodiversity.

Angela Salmon, one of the judges this year, noted “The projects have involved many members of our community and these projects will be enjoyed by adults and children. The people leading the winning projects showed great knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm for nature conservation and they are also keen to share their knowledge by educating others.”

We will use the prize money to enable school groups visiting the quarry to learn about Jersey’s wildlife and develop field skills in bird identification. The remaining money will be used to pay for the DNA sexing of this year’s wild chicks.

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Awards ceremony held at the Pomme D’or Hotel. Photo courtesy of Insurance Corporation

There was a shared sentiment amongst the nominees that whilst we have submitted individual projects we are all working towards the same goal. And that all the projects are inter-linked in some respect. For example, Littlefeet’s beach cleans are important to the wildlife species Durrell are trying to save. Birding Tours Jersey need birds otherwise the tours would be really boring! Removing plastic waste from the beach helps Jersey’s seabird population stay afloat (literally!).

Birding Tours Jersey, was this year’s runner-up receiving £1000 towards the free birding tours given to islanders. This year they have hosted three puffin watch tours and several dawn chorus walks to highlight the wonders of Jersey wildlife. And to add to the connection to nature that our projects share, Neil was one of the first chough volunteers before leaving to start Birding Tours.

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Neil Singleton and partner Alison Caldeira receiving the runner-up prize. Photo courtesy of Insurance Corporation

Another nice link was seen with the Conservationist of the Year Award and the Peter Walpole People’s Choice Award. Both of which were awarded to Sarah Maguire for her BioBlitz project in schools. BioBlitz is run through the Jersey Biodiversity Records Centre. Sarah also works for Durrell in our Education team at the Zoo.

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Sarah Maguire (middle) won two awards for her BioBlitz project. Photo courtesy of Insurance Corporation

It is cliché to say it, but everyone is a winner in the conservation awards. Unlike a certain World Cup.

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Winners and nominees of the Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards 2018. Photo courtesy of Insurance Corporation

2018 Inter-Island Environment Meeting

Crabbe. 9 October 2015. Photo by HGYoung (2)This year’s Inter-Island Environment Meeting (IIEM) will be held once again in Jersey, at Crabbé, St Mary on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st September.

The hosts will be National Trust Jersey and the States of Jersey Department for the Environment and the event will once again be generously supported by Insurance Corporation.

Crabbé Activity CentreCrabbe Activity Centre is a newly renovated outdoor centre belonging to Jersey’s Youth Service and ideally located on the Island’s north coast. The centre has basic accommodation for those who are visiting, giving us a friendly holiday camp feel, ideally suited to this year’s theme, with all conveniences situated on site including a wood-fired pizza oven. For those who would rather not sleep in a bunk-bed or tent, there will be hotel rooms  available nearby.

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2018 theme

This year’s theme is ‘Environmental Partnership’ – inspired by groups/organisations working towards a common goal. Current or future.

Aim and objectives

The general aim of the IIEM is to enable Government bodies, NGO’s, environmental managers and individuals to discuss the status of the islands’ environments.

The 2018 IIEM has three objectives for delegates to:-

–              Present a range of environmental topics relevant to their organisation and island, demonstrating collaboration and partnerships working, and the pros and cons and best practice therein.

–              Discuss current or future projects which could effectively be undertaken throughout the Channel Islands and other regions, such as the Isle of Man and UK.

–              Discuss the potential for a Channel Island Environmental Charter.

Common toad. Photo by Kristian Bell

Intended audience

The IIEM is aimed at ecological, conservation, environmental management bodies (government/NGO) and individuals from the Channel Islands and other regions, such as the Isle of Man and UK.

IIEM talk/poster presentation requirements

Delegates from the Channel Islands and beyond are encouraged to present on research related to the IIEM objectives on either terrestrial, ornithological or marine topics, either via talk or poster formats. Please contact Jon Parkes (JonParkes@nationaltrust.je) or Nina Cornish (N.Cornish@gov.je) to discuss and submit your presentation ideas.

Talks

Talks will normally last for 15 minutes, with 5 minutes for questions. Presenters are requested to submit a title and abstract (maximum of 300 words) to Jon Parkes by Friday 13th July.

Poster

Poster presentations will be displayed. Posters should be formatted to A1 size, either landscape/portrait. Presenters are requested to submit a title and abstract (maximum of 100 words) to Jon Parkes by Friday 13th July. Boards and attachment material will be provided.

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Field Trips

There is a Birds On The Edge guided walk on Thursday (20th September) at 13.30 to nearby Mourier Valley to talk about sheep grazing, choughs, habitat management and bird crops.

The Friday (21st) afternoon session will consist of three field trips of which delegates will be asked to choose an option and indicate their choice on the registration form. The options will be:

  1. Grève de Lecq to Plémont by Kayak: Sea Bird Conservation – Identified areas for protection and monitoring. Led by Piers Sangan and Kazz from Wild Adventures. Note: numbers are restricted for this field trip and places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis
  2. The Wetland Centre Tour: A chance to visit the National Trust for Jersey’s bird observatory and interpretation centre. Led by the Trust Rangers.
  3. Plémont Restoration Site – The story so far: See the former holiday camp site and the work the Trust and its partners have done to return the site to nature. Led by The Trust’s Land Manager and Conservation Officer.

Registration

You can use the registration form here and email the completed form to Jon Parkes at JonParkes@nationaltrust.je by Friday 29th June.

Travel

Air travel

Flybe, British Airways, easyJet and others fly from the UK

Aurigny Air Services fly to Alderney from Guernsey and from Jersey via Guernsey.

Boat travel

Condor Ferries travel from the UK and France to Jersey and between Guernsey and Jersey

Accommodation

If you don’t wish to stay at Crabbé there are accommodation options nearby including:

Prince of Wales in Grève de Lecq

Grève de Lecq barracks

Durrell Hostel and Camping

For further information on accommodation please see Visit Jersey’s website for more information

Crabbe. 9 October 2015. Photo by HGYoung (14)

Voting is open for the Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards 2018

by Liz Corry

Choosing how you vote should not be a snap verdict based on a few minutes of television.   

Simon Cowell

Somewhat ironic, but a perfect opener. Voting is now open for the Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards 2018. The Peter Walpole People’s Choice Award recognises conservation efforts of individuals and groups working in Jersey.

The Insurance Corporation’s Managing Director Mandy Hunt says “whether it is a school who enter a large project or a young individual with a tiny project on their window sill, both are making a contribution to the protection of our valuable green spaces and our local flora and fauna. We award money to our successful entrants because we believe it is important to help with the funding as well as celebrate their diligence and hard work.”

We can’t make you vote for the chough project. Gianna on the other hand…

As previously reported, Ronez Quarry nominated the chough project to try and raise funding to monitor chicks in the nest. This includes a leg ringing kit and DNA sexing tests as you cannot visually distinguish males from females.

If awarded, the money would also provide an educational package for school groups visiting the quarry. This would include child-friendly binoculars, identification cards and other educational material. The quarry is home to several species of birds not just the choughs. Instead of just learning about Jersey’s natural resources they could also learn about it’s biodiversity, develop field skills in bird observation, and learn how they can contribute to the conservation of choughs.

Each project short-listed for the award has been filmed and shown via the Insurance Corporation’s Facebook page. Watch each short clip then vote for the project of your choice at the bottom of their page.

In all fairness, I should also mention that one of our very first chough volunteers is also in the running. Since leaving the project, Neil Singleton has gone on to set up Birding Tours – Jersey. Both visitors and residents delight in Neil’s talks and walks. A very committed and passionate naturalist.

You can vote more than once! All of the applicants are deserving of this award. Just watch and vote at the bottom of their page or here.

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on 20th June 2018 and will receive £500 to go towards their project.

 

Channel Islands Bat Conference 2018

Male Nathusius pipistrelle with ring 2From Annyctalus Ecology

The 2018 Channel Islands Bat Workshop is to be held in Guernsey on the 18th and 19th August 2018 with an optional extra night of trapping on the 17th August.

Processing kitThere will be a mixture of theory and practical workshops during the day and a research trapping session during the evening of the 18th August. The programme is still being finalised but includes bat identification, sound analysis, tree inspection and survey, use of IR and thermal cameras.

There is a very limited pool of skilled Harp Trapbat workers across the Channel Islands and consequently there is very limited knowledge of what bat species are present and their status across the islands. In Jersey we have discovered four new bat species for the island in the last three years, since we started to use advanced survey techniques and there is the potential for the same to happen in Guernsey! Species previously recorded in Guernsey are common, soprano and Nathusius pipistrelle, grey and brown long-eared bats, Natterer’s bat and greater horseshoe bat.

CI Bat Conference 2018

Tickets for the event are £35 (plus Eventbrite booking fee) and this includes all workshop sessions, refreshments and lunch on the 18th and 19th. Travel and accommodation are not included. Book tickets here

Information about Guernsey can be found here

Surveyors with mist net

May volunteer activity

Horticulture tunnel at Overdale Hospital. Photo by Department of the EnvironmentSunday 13th May 2018 – Overdale Hospital, Westmount Road, St Helier – 10:30-13.00

From Jersey Conservation Volunteers

Due to popular demand, and to finish the fantastic work we started last month, we are going to meet one final time at Overdale Hospital woodland before we have our summer break. Hopefully the weather will be a lot better this time!

The details The Insurance Corporation Jersey Conservation Awards 2017 was won by Karen Langlois who runs the Overdale Horticultural Group which provides social and therapeutic horticulture for patients in the grounds of the rehabilitation hospital.

Karen asked for our help to make their grounds more wildlife friendly by digging a pond, undertaking some woodland management and creating new steps on the woodland paths. This work was started by the volunteers in April.

Please contact Julia at j.meldrum@gov.je or Jon at jonparkes@nationaltrust.je or phone Julia on 441600 or Jon on 483193 before you go just case anything changes.

The site  Meet at Overdale Hospital, Westmount Road, St Helier

Jersey Phone Book map A4. Google maps here 

Approaching from the north along Westmount Road with the crematorium on your right, take the second right into Overdale Hospital, follow the road through the site towards the exit but turn right as the road takes you left to the exit.

Parking  Car park at the back of the site marked with the red marker below:

West Mount map

The task We will be making the grounds more wildlife friendly by digging a pond, undertaking some woodland management and creating new steps on the woodland paths.

We will meet at 10.20 to ensure we start at 10:30 prompt and plan to work until about 12:30

Tools needed This task is all about digging so please bring your own spade if you have one (note garden forks and trowels are not suitable for this task), we have some spades but not enough for all. As usual we have gloves for those who need them, but you may prefer to bring your own gardening gloves if you have them.

Clothing needed. It may be cold and, being Jersey, it may be wet so please dress sensibly and wellies may be absolutely essential!

Children All are welcome, young or old. Children under 16 must be supervised by a parent or guardian during the task.

Cakes We plan to work until about 12:30, when we stop for a hot drink, and as much of Kim’s cake as we can get away with!

April volunteer activity

Horticulture tunnel at Overdale Hospital. Photo by Department of the EnvironmentSunday 8th April 2018 – Overdale Hospital, Westmount Road, St Helier – 10:30-13.00

From Jersey Conservation Volunteers

I can’t believe it’s the last task of the season already, although it does mean apparently that summer is round the corner, yes really!!

The details The Insurance Corporation Jersey Conservation Awards 2017 was won by Karen Langlois who runs the Overdale Horticultural Group which provides social and therapeutic horticulture for patients in the grounds of the rehabilitation hospital.

Karen has asked for our help to make their grounds more wildlife friendly by digging a pond, undertaking some woodland management and creating new steps on the woodland paths.

Please contact Julia at j.meldrum@gov.je or Jon at jonparkes@nationaltrust.je or phone Julia on 441600 or Jon on 483193 before you go just case anything changes.

The site  Meet at Overdale Hospital, Westmount Road, St Helier

Jersey Phone Book map A4. Google maps here

Approaching from the north along Westmount Road with the crematorium on your right, take the second right into Overdale Hospital, follow the road through the site towards the exit but turn right as the road takes you left to the exit.

Parking  Car park at the back of the site marked with the red marker below:West Mount map

The task We will be making the grounds more wildlife friendly by digging a pond, undertaking some woodland management and creating new steps on the woodland paths.

We will meet at 10.20 to ensure we start at 10:30 prompt and plan to work until about 12:30.

Tools needed This task is all about digging so please bring your own spade if you have one (note garden forks and trowels are not suitable for this task), we have some spades but not enough for all. As usual we have gloves for those who need them, but you may prefer to bring your own gardening gloves if you have them.

Clothing needed. It may be cold and, being Jersey, it may be wet so please dress sensibly and wellies may be absolutely essential!

Children are welcome to attend this task as long as they are directly supervised by a parent or guardian.

We will meet at 10.20 to ensure we start at 10:30 prompt and plan to work until about 12:30, when we stop for a hot drink, and a slice (or two) of Kim’s excellent cake.

 

March volunteer activity

Hedge planting with Birds On The Edge (Resize)Sunday 11th March 2018 – Queen’s Valley, St Martin – 10:30-13.00

From Jersey Conservation Volunteers

The details

Planting hedges for Birds On The Edge(s)

Now that we have hopefully seen the back of the cold weather, this month’s task sees us back to hedge planting, this time for Birds On The Edge and we will be helping Cris and Will to plant some hedges in St Martin.

Please contact Julia at j.meldrum@gov.je or Jon at jonparkes@nationaltrust.je or phone Julia on 441600 or Jon on 483193 before you go just case anything changes.

The site  Meet at Queen’s Valley Reservoir (top/north car park), by kind permission of Jersey Water, from here it is a five minute walk to the planting area at the junction of Le Passage de L’Hopital and Les Monts.

Parking There is parking at the meeting point: Jersey phone directory Map 11, JJ15; Google maps here

The task The hedges will be planted at a ‘winter bird crop’ site, where birds spend the winter feeding on sunflowers and other plants which have been planted just for them. The hedges will offer them protection and a safe place to rest between feeds or to roost, increasing the value of the site for the birds. The hedges will also provide a source of flowers for pollinators, bugs, buds, berries, nesting material, shelter and corridors to many other wildlife in the area.

We will meet at 10.20 to ensure we start at 10:30 prompt and plan to work until about 12:30

Tools needed Please bring your own spade if you have one (note garden forks and trowels are not suitable for this task), we have some spades but not enough for all.

Clothing needed. It may be cold and, being Jersey, it may be wet so please dress sensibly and wellies may be absolutely essential!

Children All are welcome, young or old. Children under 16 must be supervised by a parent or guardian during the task.

We will work until about 12:30, when we stop for a hot drink, a slice of Kim’s cake and a chat about what an excellent job we have done.

See you there!

 

Are you interested in joining the ranks of Jersey’s butterfly recording volunteers?

Gatekeeper. Photo by Mick DrydenThe Jersey Butterfly Monitoring Scheme is a Department of the Environment initiative set up in 2004. The scheme depends on volunteer recorders who make a weekly count of butterflies at around 35 locations across the Island. Butterflies are an important indicator of the general health of the countryside, so this information helps the department to monitor the Island’s ecosystems and countryside. See previous BOTE reports here and here and read the report The State of Jersey’s Butterflies: Jersey Butterfly Monitoring Scheme 2004 to 2013 here

JBMS

Training will be held at Howard Davis Farm (Committee Room, upstairs) (location here) at 10am until 1pm on Saturday 24th March and everyone is welcome, whether you are an experienced volunteer or a complete novice.

You will be taught how to walk a transect and also butterfly identification.  If you have been part of the volunteer team for a while and feel you do not need further training, you may wish to come anyway and share your experiences or provide some feedback.

To find out more or to book a place please contact Denise McGowan Tel: +44 (0)1534 441606 (after 14th March) or Email: d.mcgowan@gov.je

Clouded yellow. Photo by Mick Dryden

 

 

 

Job vacancy at Sorel!

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From The Reserve

A position has opened up in the small team managing the largest flock of sheep on the Island, the wonderful Manx loaghtan sheep which form the basis for our conservation grazing project.

Animal husbandry experience would obviously be beneficial, but the right candidate would more importantly be hard working, self-motivated, willing to learn and above all share our passion for what we (The Reserve) are doing.

For the right candidate this position provides an excellent opportunity to take on further responsibilities, and develop their skills within the role and the total number of hours worked. Hours can be flexible for the right candidate, although some weekend work is necessary.

Training will be given and salary is dependent on experience.

If you are motivated, conscientious and have a great deal of pride in your work, we would love to hear from you. Read on.

Job Description: Stockperson

Manx loaghtan sheep at Sorel. Photo by Harriet Clark

Title: Stockperson
Employer: The Reserve
Date: 19.02.18
Closing Date: 09.03.18
Contract: Permanent
Hours: Part Time
Salary: Negotiable
Core skills required: The ability to speak English & a clean driving licence are essential. As are physical fitness, the ability to use your own initiative to solve problems and the drive to ensure work is completed to a high standard.

Tending stock means being out in all weather, and being able to get the job done in challenging situations. The role is not for the faint of heart. We are looking for someone who is motivated and ideally enthused by the same passion for our stock and wildlife conservation that we are.

The most important part of the role consists of animal welfare checks of our sheep at different locations. This includes ensuring that water and feed are plentiful and ensuring that the animals are stress free and in good condition, ensuring the best levels of animal welfare in line with the five freedoms. Animal welfare is our highest priority and as such you must be willing to go to get efforts to ensure our stock are cared for.

The role involves a high degree of lone working and the stockperson must be able to use their initiative to solve problems efficiently and work hard and to a high standard whilst unsupervised. Occasionally the position may also require responding to out of hours emergency situations such as welfare issues and escaped stock if Aaron the shepherd is off island.

In addition to this, the job involves assisting with working the sheep during regular tasks such as the administration of veterinary medications, stock movements, shearing and lambing.

The role will include additional tasks necessary for the management of the project, these may include erecting and taking down electric fencing, branchage, hay making, cleaning and disinfecting equipment and tool and equipment maintenance.

A vehicle for use whilst working, along with all the necessary equipment will be provided. The role will develop, in line with the development of the skills and knowledge of the right candidate. The timing of the role can be flexible for the right candidate, as well as the total hours per week.

For an informal chat or if you have any questions, call, text or email Aaron on 07797 789202 or enquiries@thereservejersey.com

The Reserve, La Fevrerie, Route de Maufant, St Saviour, JE2 7HR

Sorel 17 November 2017. HGYoung (2)

February volunteer activity

Hedge planting. Photo courtesy of Department of the Environment

Sunday 11th February 2018 – Westlands Farm, Route de Franfief, St Brelade – 10:30-13.00

From Jersey Conservation Volunteers

The details The task this month focuses on planting native trees and hedging on field boundaries to create wildlife corridors, generally connecting existing areas of hedge and woodland habitat. The planting offsets losses caused Dutch Elm Disease, winter storms, the general over-maturity of our existing habitat and that lost to development and farming practices.

Three flagship mammal species are mentored and information and guidance is received form those groups who care for and monitor red squirrels, hedgehogs and bats. This is the 3rd or a 3-year programme planting for various bat species, linking up the ponds and wet meadows of Pont du Val and Le Parc du Pont Marquet.

Please contact Julia at j.meldrum@gov.je or Jon at jonparkes@nationaltrust.je or phone Julia on 441600 or Jon on 483193 before you go just case anything changes.

The site  Le Parc du Pont Marquet, St Brelade.

Parking  Meet at Westlands Farm, Route de Franfief, St Brelade. Look out for the Jersey Trees for Life banners and roadside stall selling logs and produce at the entrance to the property, turn into the entrance and parking will be at the end of the long concrete drive.

(Jersey phone directory Map 7, L15) Google maps here

The task Cutting back willows and other vegetation and dead hedging along the stream.

We will leave the carpark at 10:20 for a 10:30 start and with around 500 trees to plant we will start at 10:30 prompt and plan to work until about 12:30.

Tools needed Please bring your own spade if you have one (note garden forks and trowels are not suitable for this task), we have some spades but not enough for all.

Clothing needed. It may be cold and, being Jersey, it may be wet so please dress sensibly and wellies may be absolutely essential!

Children All are welcome, young or old. Children under 16 must be supervised by a parent or guardian during the task.

We’ll work until 12.30 when we will we will get stuck in to a piece of Kim’s gorgeous home-made cake and a hot drink.

See you there!