Almost three months after its launch, the trust’s coastline campaign has attracted just over 5,000 signatures and more than £17,000 in donations. The number of signatories is the equivalent of a line of people holding hands along the entire length of St Ouen’s Bay, but still well short of the 42,000 target that would represent a line of supporters circling the entire coast.
‘Although we still have a long way to go, we are enormously grateful to everyone who has signed our petition and donated to date, as well as our sponsor, Ashburton Investments, and all the volunteers who have helped us in securing signatures,’ said trust chief executive Charles Alluto. ‘We hope that, over the Christmas period, people will come across Save Our Coastline signs on sites which have been safeguarded since 2006, and this will further encourage more signatures, as these areas are a visible reminder of what can be achieved.’
The launch of the campaign coincided with the tenth anniversary of the A Line in the Sand demonstration on 4 October 2009, when 6,000 Islanders lined up along St Ouen’s Bay from La Pulente to L’Etacq calling for further protection for the coastline and a halt to large-scale shoreline developments.
The trust said that the timing of the Save Our Coastline launch – ahead of preparations to introduce the Island Plan – was crucial, and accused politicians of failing to follow through on pledges made in the wake of the A Line in the Sand demonstration.
Mr Alluto said: ‘The importance of this campaign should not be under-estimated. We need a strong platform if we are going to secure enhanced protection for our coastline in the new Island Plan. The impact of out-of-scale developments on our coastline is clear for everyone to see.
‘We would urge everyone who wants to keep our coastline in its natural state to sign the petition and make their voice heard. It really could make a difference in terms of future policy.’
Mr Alluto said there would be a new-year drive to increase the visibility of the campaign, with stalls at different locations seeking signatures and a heightened social media presence.
The trust is also committed to raising £10m to add 1,000 vergées to its land bank by its 100th anniversary in 2036.