St Ouen’s Bay was awash with environmental happenings on Sunday 6th October 2019 when dignitaries and hundreds of islanders came together to celebrate on what can best be described as a most worthy ‘eco-occasion’.
The prime significance in choosing this date was in recognition of the 10th Anniversary of ‘The Line in the Sand’, a ground-breaking public demonstration organised by The National Trust for Jersey as part of their Coastline Campaign in 2009.
Exactly ten years ago, thousands of Islanders joined hands along the shoreline of St Ouen’s Bay showing their collective concern at the increase in large and insensitive coastal developments. Such was the support and impact of this peaceful demonstration that, within two years, a Jersey Coastal National Park was officially endorsed and lodged within the planning structure of the Island Plan 2011.
Following several years of early achievements by a voluntary working group, the Jersey National Park recently acquired a six year lease on a wonderful timber building known as the Frances Le Sueur Centre.
The importance of this acquisition is that it is situated within the very ‘heart of the park’. It was here, in appropriate partnership with The National Trust for Jersey, that all kinds of celebratory events took place on Sunday 6th October.
Keeping to its primary promise of ‘information, education and events’ new display boards have been installed inside the centre and videos were played explaining how our National Park has evolved and what its aspirations are for the future promotion of the Islands precious coastline.
Meanwhile, attendees witnessed three significant ceremonies carried out on behalf of the National Trusts special ‘line’ celebrations. The first was the launch of an online petition recreating a digital line of ‘joined hands’ around Jersey’s entire coastline. This was followed by both the launch of a new publication ‘Saving Plemont for the People’ and the unveiling of a plaque detailing the gift to the Trust of a coastal strip on dune-land at la Mielle de Morville. Both ceremonies were carried out by Jersey’s Lt Gov Sir Stephen Dalton and Sir Philip Bailhache.
In addition to these highly prestigious ‘launches’, a number of environmental events were proving popular in other parts of St Ouen’s Bay. Keeping young minds ‘naturally’ enthralled at the Frances Le Sueur Centre was a popular family-friendly fun programme of environmental education called Wild Days. Guided walks and talks given by local experts and organised by the National Trust were also happening at other major venues such as the Wetland Centre, the White House and at L’Etacq.
It’s unanimously agreed that Sunday 6th October 2019 proved an exceptionally significant day of celebration not least for the partnership between the National Park and the National Trust. Although different in management structure, both organisations are fully focussed on the future protection of the island’s vulnerable coastline. If you would like to show your commitment to saving our coastline for the future, please pledge your support at https://www.nationaltrust.je/save-our-coastline-pledge/