Guernsey school children help MUG lump bloom

Monday 27 February 2017

AS part of its continued efforts to raise awareness of male cancers we have invited local schoolchildren to help turn a lump of unloved scrubland into a beautiful conservation area by planting primroses.

Children from Melrose, La Houguette, Mare de Carteret and Forest Schools have joined in the efforts to transform the area.

Floral tribute

We hope the scrub-covered mound at Salerie Corner will become a floral tribute to islanders affected by cancer.

The award-winning horticulturist Raymond Evison worked with MUG to devise the scheme that aims to educate schoolchildren on plant heritage and include them in efforts to remind islanders of cancer and the importance of getting health concerns checked out.

We found a 'lump'

'We noticed the mound, just like one might notice a lump, last year and were inspired to transform the scrub and weeds into something that would help to remind people that we can't ignore cancer,' explains Dan Collins, MUG's new Chairman. 'By involving schoolchildren in the project we are truly working together as a community to create a stunning conservation area that will act as a daily reminder of the importance of looking after our health.'

Native plants

Primroses were chosen for the project as they are native to Guernsey, having grown on the island for hundreds of years. Characterised by their yellow petals, they thrive in both sunny and shady conditions, require little maintenance and are early bloomers. As they attract a wealth of insects it is hoped that they will also attract a variety of bird life to the area.  

12 months of work

Over the last year a team, led by Mr Evison, has worked tirelessly to prepare the area for planting. During the late autumn months over 40 hours alone were spent clearing the plot of ivy and many more days were allocated to removing roots, weeds and other plant matter. The soil was then prepped for the planting of over 1,000 daffodils bulbs in the many different varieties that would have grown in Guernsey fields during the 1800s as part of the island's daffodil industry.

With thanks to

The charity would like to thank Mrs Caroline Timms who researched the relevant daffodil varieties and donated over 250 bulbs to the project.

450 bulbs were dug up from a Castel field with help from members of The Guernsey Plant Heritage Group, saving them from being destroyed and lost to cultivation.

The project has also been supported by Jan Dockerill of Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services and Bob Carre of States Works land management.

Jamie Hooper, from La Societe Guernesiaise, has advised on local wildflowers, selecting plant varieties that will create a stunning colour display while attracting a wealth of different insects and small animals to the area. 12 native oak trees and two crab apple species have also been planted to encourage birds who will feed on the fruits each winter in the coming years.