To raise awareness of local habitats and species, the States Agriculture, Countryside & Land Management Services (ACLMS), the Clean Earth Trust, La Société Guernesiaise and the Lihou Charitable Trust are organising a public event on Lihou Island for World Wetlands Day on the 6 February 2022.
The day is intended to raise awareness of the importance of wetlands as well as actively helping to improve the environment and survey the wildlife found on Lihou. Lihou Island is the perfect location for such an event as it has been designated a Ramsar site since 2006, meaning it is an area identified as being of high ecological importance and is part of an international convention for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
Julia Henney, Biodiversity Officer, said: “Wetlands are amongst the most productive of the world's ecosystems, providing important habitat and supporting a rich biodiversity. They are also a resource of great economic, cultural, scientific and recreational value, but unfortunately they continue to be amongst the world's most threatened ecosystems. Many of the breeding bird species found on Lihou and worldwide have been in decline over the past decade due to human disturbance, predation by rats, marine plastic pollution and increased frequency of storms. By holding this event we are encouraging our community to connect with, celebrate and support our wetlands.”
The events being held on the island include a crab survey, run by the Education Conservation Team of La Société and a beach clean run by the Clean Earth Trust. Everybody is welcome to take part in the event; simply meet the team at Lihou headland car park at 14:45 on the day. The causeway opening times are between 15:01 – 17:15. Come for as little or as much as you like during these times.
Helen Quin, Head of Operations at the Clean Earth Trust, said: "The last time we did a clean-up in Lihou we found a lot of plastic water bottles, mostly foreign. It will be interesting to see whether the waste landscape has changed and continue to build on our understanding of how Guernsey's marine environment is being affected by the globe's excessive plastic consumption. We're really enjoying our ongoing weekly clean-ups, seeing old and new faces amongst our growing community – come down and join us!"
Staff will still be on hand to answer any question you may have on wetlands and why they are so important, both locally and globally. Facilities and hot drinks will also be provided by the Lihou Charitable Trust; those attending are asked to bring their own reusable mug.