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News Centre > Tuesday 29 September 2020

Planning application submitted to enhance reservoir for local community

Millennium Walk drawing

Guernsey Water is planning to develop part of the Millennium Walk at St Saviour's reservoir to provide an outdoor learning space along with improved accessibility for everyone.

The proposals, which form part of the company's centenary celebrations, are designed to make the walk much more inclusive and help connect the whole community with nature. Local schools and community groups stand to benefit from the new outdoor learning space and the area would be made accessible for wheelchair users and those who are less mobile.

Steve Langlois, Guernsey Water's General Manager, said: "We believe everyone should be able to get out and explore the reservoir as it is important for our health and wellbeing to have access to the natural environment. The planned improvements align with Active 8, the new States strategy which aims to encourage Islanders to incorporate regular exercise into their daily lives. They would also help connect our whole community with nature and provide a space to share knowledge about our environment, so they would make a really important contribution to Guernsey's new Strategy for Nature."

The proposed location for the outdoor learning space is in Les Annevilles pine forest, where a natural clearing already exists. A path would lead to it from the car park before looping round to the same parking area. Alterations would be made to the existing pathway to improve the surface for wheelchair users. Several benches would also be provided for those who are less mobile or people who just want to stop for a rest. This would contribute to delivering the States' Disability and Inclusion Strategy by improving access for disabled islanders and their carers.

Seating in the outdoor learning space would be constructed out of cut tree trunks, sourced mainly from fallen trees in the reservoir area; existing pines and native trees would be retained. Physical disturbance to wildlife due to noise and visual impact has been considered and would be carefully managed through additional screening using native shrubs and trees.

Mr Langlois added: "We are very grateful for the support of Environment Guernsey and the States Disability Officer who have helped us develop our proposals.

"The outdoor classroom would be utilised by local schools, youth and adult groups alike for a variety of talks and education on birds, entomology and botany; it will also feature as a meeting place for groups such as Walking for Health."

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