Archive for September, 2010

Beachwatch 2010 clean-up of the northern end of Les Pecqueries Bay

September 28th, 2010 by Jannine and Paul Birtwistle

During Beachwatch weekend on 18 and 19 September 2010, a team of volunteers collected litter from the northern end of Les Pecqueries Bay on the north-west coast of Guernsey.  The total number of items collected was much higher this year.  As is the case every year there were several hundred shotgun cartridges from the shooting range on the opposite headland.

Plastic remains of shotgun cartridges litter the northern end of Les Pecqueries Bay (click image to expand)

The team that cleaned the northern end of Les Pecqueries Bay on Guernsey's north-west coast (click image to expand)

Cider Orchard Walks

September 27th, 2010 by Events

During St. Andrew’s Apple Day there will be a cider orchard walk beginning from Blanchelande College memorial gate (Rue Fraires next to Froome crane hire) to the Rocquette cider orchard.  The cost is £4.00 per person and includes free tasting.  Tickets are available from the Information Centre Tel: 723552 or email: a.hw(at)

For more information on Floral Guernsey events download the PDF brochure.

Guernsey could achieve a model solution to its transport problems

September 27th, 2010 by Paul Langlois

As Guernsey strives to go green, one aspect of island life continues seemingly oblivious to any environmental issues and that is car usage.

The Environment Department’s idea of a Transport Strategy seems to be to encourage everyone into a car … “There we go, no one has a transport problem now.”

Peter Sirett’s lukewarm enthusiasm for Car Free Week and the lack of publicity by the Department was disheartening.

In particular there seems to be an ever-increasing number of unnecessarily large cars on our narrow roads.  If Guernsey is to pursue a greener lifestyle, then surely the reduction of car usage and car size is one obvious way of achieving this?

People complain about the amount of traffic, not realising as they sit in their cars that they are the problem.  Guernsey only feels crowded when you are in a traffic queue, so the reduction in car numbers will enhance our living environment – something we all seek.

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A report on “Making space for nature” – a review of England’s wildlife sites

September 27th, 2010 by DEFRA

Making Space for Nature,” an independent review of England’s wildlife sites and the connections between them was published on 24 September 2010, with recommendations to help achieve a healthy natural environment that will allow our plants and animals to thrive.

Led by Professor Sir John Lawton, the review was set up to look at our wildlife sites and whether they are capable of responding and adapting to the growing challenges of climate change and other demands on our land.

common frog, Rana temporaria, in a St Peter Port garden (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Welcoming the report, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said “I am extremely grateful to Professor Sir John Lawton and the other panel members for their hard work in carrying out this valuable review.  Sir John Lawton is right to challenge us over what it takes to address the loss of biodiversity but he is also clear this cannot be done by Government alone.

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Public Consultation and the development of an effective solid waste strategy

September 26th, 2010 by Peter Roffey

What should our tax strategy be? Or our waste strategy? Should new building go in the urban area or be spread around the island? Should bonfires be banned?

The Guernsey public is being consulted almost weekly on decisions – big and small – facing the States of Deliberation. In many ways that is a very good thing. Our deputies are elected to govern on our behalf and should take notice of what we think. The question is whether the results of such consultation should be the clinching factor in making decisions or just one consideration amongst many.

As far as rubbish disposal is concerned the deputy minister of Public Services is in no doubt. Deputy Scott Ogier is determined the new strategy, due before the States next spring, must be one which the public is happy with. His stance is that politicians and their expert advisors have twice devised solutions which proved impossible to sell to large numbers of islanders. This time around the approach will be different. First the PSD will find out what is publically acceptable and then design a strategy around it.

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Managing Change

September 26th, 2010 by Jan Kuttelwascher

This is a short paper on the effectiveness of the Public Service Department‘s process to develop a waste strategy.

I base the analysis on a methodology proposed by ISB Worldwide. This is a management consultancy based on the work of John Kotter author of Our Iceberg is Melting. ISB has had many multinational clients including AT&T, Proctor & Gamble and Rolls Royce.

Eight steps are proposed to effect successful change:

1. Increase Urgency

2. Build a Guiding Team

3. Get The Vision Right

4. Communicate for Buy-in

5. Empower Action

6. Create Short-Term Wins

7. Don’t Let Up

8. Make Change Stick

Where does the Public Services Department (PSD) stand in relation to these eight steps?

1. Going down the path of yet another consultation (Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO)) is the opposite of what is required.

2. Several members of PSD were strongly opposed to the rejection of the Suez proposals. I believe that the whole political board needs to be enthusiastic about effecting change. This is not the case and the “Guiding Team” is therefore hampered.

3. I do not believe that “The Vision” has even been considered. What is it?

4. Communication has been a problem. Communication has been reactive to the demands of both the public and some Deputies. PSD need to take the Public with them and, to date, they have failed.

5. Who is empowered to take action? Who is willing to take action? We are currently following a risk averse path leading to where?

6. Instead of creating some “Short-Term Wins”, PSD has put on hold possible improvements to bring banks and positive action to increase our re-cycling rates to 50% by the end of this year. They have gone in the opposite direction.

7. Since PSD have yet to start they have some way to go before they need to satisfy this step.

8. There is no evidence of any attempt to change and, therefore, nothing to “Stick”.

At a recent presentation to the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, Paul Rigby, a representative of ISB Worldwide said that 70% of attempts by companies to effect change failed.

He also said that what is required is more leadership and less management.

The current BPEO process was put forward by Management (staff) and adopted by The Leadership (political board).

This is the wrong way round. The Political Board needs to lead this process. It must take the lead in what is their responsibility: making policy and defining strategy.

Finally: why is this process a process to effect change? To date we have had Lurgi and Suez. Both have failed at considerable cost. We need a change of mindset and strong, effective leadership.

Beachwatch weekend Chouet beach clean on 19 September 2010

September 25th, 2010 by Richard Lord

Beachwatch volunteers, left to right, Dorothe Lord, Deputy Mike Hadley, and Anne Sandwith, clean Chouet beach on 19 September 2010 (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

At first glance Chouet beach didn’t appear to have much litter.  Anne Sandwith found some plastic bags embedded in sand at low tide, which she asked for help to retrieve.  The tide was coming in so it was a race against time.  Only a portion of each plastic bag was exposed and in some cases the plastic was disintegrating so the bags couldn’t be pulled out; they had to be dug out from underneath.  Some of the bags were thin supermarket shopping bags, but others were made of thicker plastic, including black bin bags and fertiliser bags.  The more we looked the more bags we found.  The embedded plastic bags appeared concentrated in the north-east corner of the beach.  One suggestion was that the bags may have been blown out of the nearby Mont Cuet landfill site, landed in the sea, and brought on-shore.

Plastic bags and plastic sheeting were a major component of the litter on Chouet Beach (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

General rubbish and Nylon twine found on Chouet beach (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Nylon rope and Nylon netting is a major component of Guernsey’s beach litter.  Nylon rope was abundant in the revetment at the top of Chouet beach.  Not all the rope could be removed because it was trapped between the large revetment stone blocks.

Various car parts were found on the beach left over from beach racing (click image to expand – ©RLLord)

Chouet Beach is used occasionally for car sand racing.  A large number of small pieces of hard plastic were identified as being car parts.  We found a car headlight, a car aerial, a gear stick, and pieces of plastic trim and fenders.  These were identified by a car mechanic who visited the beach during our beach clean.

As we did at Champ Rouget the day before, we found a ball probably used by a dog owner to throw for their pet.

Below is a list of the items recovered from Chouet Beach on the morning of 19 September 2010.


1 syringe, 1 razor handle, 3 plastic toys, 6 drinking straws, 24 plastic lids, 1 plastic spoon, 11 pieces of bubble wrap packaging material, 1 plastic dustpan, 75 pieces of plastic sheeting and plastic bags, 23 pieces of Styrofoam, 3 cigarette lighters, 10 pieces of polyurethane, 5 plastic gloves,  1 plastic spoon, 1 toothbrush, 24 plastic lids, 1 sweet container, 1 baby’s dummy, 154 pieces of hard plastic, 20 plastic bottles, 5 pieces of plastic pipe, 1 bicycle reflector, 2 fishing spools, 12 pieces of Nylon strapping material, 126 pieces of Nylon rope and twine


1 piece of woman’s clothing, 2 shoes

1 umbrella

Car parts

1 car tire, 1 gear stick, 1 car headlight, 1 car aerial, 1 ignition car lead


1 disposable barbecue, 6 small pieces of metal, 1 large piece of metal, 3 Aluminium cans


1 tennis ball, 1 shotgun cartridge, 1 paint brush, 6 cardboard coffee cups and their plastic lids, 2 pieces of fibreglass, 1 arrow, 15 empty crisp packets, 1 piece of carpet, 1 broom handle, 12 pieces of rubber strap (used to hold bait in crab pot or to close pot door)

The Glorious Victorian walled kitchen garden at Saumarez park

September 25th, 2010 by Richard Lord

The Guernsey Botanical Trust’s Victorian walled kitchen garden in Saumarez Park with its own micro-climate produces a wide variety of garden vegetables, and flowers that are suitable for display in the home.  The garden attracts wildlife.  The Guernsey Botanical Trust’s vision is to recreate the garden that existed over one hundred years ago.  Volunteer gardeners use seaweed to nourish the soil.  Inorganic fertilisers are not used as they were not used by the Victorians.  The Victorians used nicotine to kill pests but this cannot be used today because of its toxicity.

The Lemon Aid Festival was held on 25 September 2010 to celebrate the opening of the new Lemon glasshouse. This glasshouse by Michael and John Brouard is the fourth on the site.  It is a replica of the first glasshouse erected on this site in the early 1830s.

The Lemon House which replicates the original glasshouse built on this site in the early 1830s. (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

A lemon tree in the restored lemon house in the Victorian walled kitchen garden in Saumarez Park run by the Guernsey Botanical Trust (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

A variety of pumpkin grown during Victorian times (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

A view of Guernsey Botanical Trust's Victorian kitchen garden looking south-east (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Victorian varieties of marrows, squashes and pumpkins harvested at the Victorian walled kitchen garden at Saumarez Park, Guernsey (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

A bountiful harvest of marrows and pumpkins (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The walled kitchen garden provides a sheltered warm micro-climate (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Luxuriant spinach growing in the Victorian walled kitchen garden (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Chard growing in the Victorian walled kitchen garden in Saumarez Park (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Cosmos bipinnatus growing in the cut-flower section of the Victorian walled kitchen garden (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

A hardy annual, Chrysanthemum carinatum, used for cut flowers for the house (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Flowers in the Victorian walled kitchen garden on 31 August 2010 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The eastern wall of the Victorian walled kitchen garden is a perfect suntrap for growing sunflowers (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Guernsey Conservation Volunteers clear Portinfer beach during Beachwatch

September 25th, 2010 by Guernsey Conservation Volunteers

On 19 September 2010 during Beachwatch weekend the Guernsey Conservation Volunteers cleared litter from Portinfer beach on Guernsey’s north-west coast.

One volunteered found deflated party balloons with a straggle of ribbon attached.  If released, lighter-than-air helium balloons can travel great distances.  Balloons that settle on the sea may be ingested by marine turtles and cetaceans, which can lead to the death of the animal.  Balloons also cause problems for sea birds due to entanglement in the attached ribbon and string.

Pieces of a deflated party balloon and attached ribbon was collected by a Guernsey Conservation Volunteer from Portinfer Beach (click image to expand)

Besides the balloons’ negative impact on marine life, the helium that is used to fill the balloon is a finite resource.  Once it is released into the atmosphere it escapes to outer-space.  Helium is used in some medical equipment.   Its finite nature means it probably shouldn’t be used to fill party balloons.

Guernsey Conservation Volunteers with their haul of litter from Portinfer Beach on Guernsey's west coast during Beachwatch weekend

Guernsey Conservation Volunteers collect and record litter from Portinfer beach during Beachwatch Weekend

Guernsey south coast beach cleans during Beachwatch weekend 2010

September 25th, 2010 by Events

During Beachwatch weekend Environment Department officer Jan Dockerill collected seaborne litter that had been deposited on the beach at Moulin Huet on Guernsey’s south coast.  Jan Dockerill found there were nearly double the number of plastic bottles and Polystyrene and Polyurethane pieces compared to 2009 but in 2009 the tides and wind direction brought less to the shore.  This is the fifth year Jan Dockerill has been surveying and collecting litter from this bay.

Litter collected by Jan Dockerill at Moulin Huet on Guernsey's south coast (click image to expand - ©Jan Dockerill)

The Adams family regularly clears sea shore litter from neighbouring Saint’s bay.

Seaborne litter collected by the Adams family during Beachwatch weekend (click image to expand - ©Vanessa Crispini-Adams)

Debris from the fishing industry including Nylon rope and twine and pieces of hard plastic dominates the debris collected in Saint’s Bay.  Styrofoam and Polyurethane pieces are a ubiquitous problem.

A close-up image of seaborne litter that was collected by the Adams family in Saint's Bay during Beachwatch weekend (click image to expand - ©Vanessa Crispini-Adams)