BOOST FOR NATIONAL TRUST NORTH COAST GRAZING PROJECT THANKS TO ALC

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We are delighted to have recently worked with The National Trust for Jersey on the Mourier Valley grazing project.

A field essential to the National Trust for Jersey’s Mourier Valley grazing scheme was successfully fenced last week, thanks to a generous donation from local firm Asset Leverage Consultants (ALC), and manpower provided by a States of Jersey Back to Work team.

In an effort to improve the quality of the grassland and heathland habitats on the north coast of the island, The National Trust for Jersey has re-introduced grazing animals onto the slopes of the Mourier Valley.

Changes in agriculture have meant that the steep rocky slopes of the north coast, once grazed by the now extinct Jersey sheep, or cut for winter feed and bedding, were left to overgrow with a monoculture of bracken. The absence of grazing and management brought about the loss in diversity of flora and associated invertebrate species, and as a knock on effect, the bird life that depended on it.

The north coast grazing project was initiated in 2009 with the introduction of around 30 pregnant Manx Loaghtan ewes imported from the UK. The animals were encouraged to graze the precipitous land between Sorel Point and Devil’s Hole.

Mourier Valley is now home to a flock of between 60 to 100 multi-horned Manx Loaghtan sheep, which roam freely in the area and can often be seen grazing on the steep slopes below the coastal footpath.

Now with the newly fenced area available, Aaron Le Couteur, who is responsible for the flock, can use the space for operations such as shearing, drenching and foot work. The facility also allows Mr Couteur to treat, feed and monitor flock health when the workload cannot be finished in a single day.

Commenting on this latest stage in the project Mr Couteur said, “We are incredibly grateful to ALC for their support. Having this field permanently fenced is a great benefit to the project.”

Ben Thomason, Managing Director of ALC, gave his reaction to the scheme. “We are pleased to support the National Trust for Jersey and this project particularly interested us. The North coast of the island is spectacular and we’re delighted to be of assistance in restoring this area, helping to reinstate the natural beauty and biodiversity.”