Four years’ funding for National Park
A GRANT of up to £100,000 has been approved for 2020 for the body responsible for safeguarding and developing the Jersey National Park, with further funding lined up for the next three years.by Ian Heath
Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham has signed a ministerial decision to provide the money to Jersey National Park Ltd, with further sums already approved for each year until 2023, as agreed last year under the Government Plan. These sums – of £150,000, £200,000 and £250,000 – are available during the period of the Government Plan, subject to the park’s management meeting aims set out in a four-year business plan.
The Jersey National Park is a conservation area and planning zone that stretches largely around the coastline and includes the Ecréhous and Minquiers offshore reefs.
Recently it was announced that government is looking to extend the park into Jersey’s territorial waters, forming an ‘emerald ring’ around the Island, with the aim of protecting its biodiversity.
Senator Farnham has championed the move, which he has said would ‘protect and showcase’ sea habitats and boost Jersey’s reputation as a forward-thinking and responsible jurisdiction. The minister wants the government to work with the Blue Marine Foundation, a leading conservation charity, on the project.
‘The development of a new marine national park is something I see as a high priority,’ said Senator Farnham. We are talking to stakeholders including fishermen and the National Trust and we are working towards delivering something which will be exciting and protect Jersey’s coastal environment for future generations.’
The report accompanying the ministerial decision says that short-term aims for Jersey National Park Ltd that have already been achieved include establishing branding, a logo and a web presence.
It adds that aims over the next four years include increasing Jersey National Park Ltd’s activities and community presence, as well as securing more charitable donations.
Short-term objectives will include building relationships locally and with the National Parks UK, as well as promoting education programmes. The Francis Le Sueur Centre in Mielle de Morville nature reserve in St Ouen’s Bay has also been refurbished and is due to open in the spring as an interpretation centre for the park.
and a base for park manager Jerry Neil.
The report says: ‘National parks worldwide are special places. They protect vital landscapes, wildlife habitats and cultural heritage. They provide focus for recreation and tourism and are important places where people live and work.
‘The areas of Jersey and its offshore reefs designated as comprising the Jersey National Park, provide many benefits for biodiversity and society across its breadth and scope.’
Blue Marine is currently running a PhD study in partnership with the government, the Société Jersiaise and Plymouth University to assess the recovery of marine life within the Island’s marine areas and qualify the benefits to the fishing industry.