The National Trust for Jersey aims to double its membership

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The push to encourage more Islanders to sign up is backed by a series of eye-catching posters which highlight a number of environmental concerns, including the threat to the Island’s coastline from over development, the many challenges posed to nature by modern life and the dangers of ignoring the marine environment.

It also comes at the end of a year when many Islanders rediscovered a love of nature and Jersey’s green spaces during lockdown and the ongoing restrictions imposed because of the pandemic.

The campaign also coincides with the news that plans to give special protection to part of Jersey’s coastal waters is due to move forward in the new year with the appointment of a manager to lead the Blue Marine Foundation project. They will be based at the National Trust’s headquarters at The Elms in St Mary.

The trust currently has just over 3,000 members and membership costs £30 a year – the equivalent, according to the organisation’s chief executive Charles Alluto, to ‘about five beers’.

He is now calling on Islanders to lend their support to the organisation to enable it to strengthen its voice even further.

‘Our current membership is 3,100, but we hope to double that,’ he said. ‘A larger membership means that we become more important as an organisation, as it gives us a much bigger voice.

‘The cost of membership is just £30 a year and, as someone pointed out the other day, that is the equivalent of about five beers.’

Giving examples of how the stronger voice of an increased membership could be of help, Mr Alluto cited the future of the Simon Sand and Gravel quarry in St Ouen’s Bay and proposals to turn a green field into a car park in St John as matters on the trust’s agenda for 2021.

‘Extraction [at the sand quarry] is due to end in the next few years and we want to see a vision for that site. We would like to see restoration, biodiversity, some public access and landscaping,’ he added.

Commenting on the St John project, Mr Alluto pointed out that the setting was regarded as an important open space in the Island Plan.

‘If you are going to sacrifice that piece of land, you need to be absolutely certain of what you will need in 20 to 30 years from now,’ he said. ‘The government has committed to achieving carbon neutrality in ten years’ time. Cycling and electric vehicles are the future. Things are changing and we need to view our options very carefully.

‘There is lots of talk about village plans and conservation plans, but we need a vision to bring the two together. At the moment it is very fragmented. It is also about what you are doing to encourage parents to walk and cycle. The future is going to be very different.’

The trust has been around since the 1930s and is well known for working to protect Jersey’s natural beauty, wildlife and historic places.

Perhaps its most memorable campaign in recent years was the acquisition of part of Plémont’s headland so that it could be returned to nature.

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