Together We Grow
The Bailiwick of Guernsey is a proud home to some incredibly rare and unique native plants and wildflowers. To safeguard their future, a passionate and determined team from the local community is spearheading a bold new initiative to encourage the preservation of these precious species for generations to come.
Launched by Raymond Evison, OBE, and the Botany Section of La Société Guernesiaise, ‘Grow Guernsey Natives’ is an innovative campaign to protect the island’s native plants and biodiversity. Guernsey alone has over 167 plant species considered very rare in the British Isles but has experienced the loss of over 50 plant species in fewer than 30 years. This bold initiative hopes to turn the tide on this decline by educating and promoting the planting of native and naturalised plant species in local gardens.
The cultivating ‘Crew’ Grow Guernsey Natives is only possible through a collaborative community effort. While Raymond and his team at Guernsey Clematis Nursery have lovingly collected and sown the seeds of both the rarer and more common plants, nurturing the young plants and growing them to retail size has required an ongoing effort. That’s where the island’s beloved charity GROW takes over. For 40 years, GROW has been supporting local adults with learning disabilities and difficulties by providing training and mentoring in occupational and life skills in a safe and stimulating environment. GROW’s aim is to enable its ‘Crew’, as the attendees are known, to become included and valued in the workplace and the wider community, and their involvement in this special campaign is helping them to do just that.
Guernsey alone has over 167 plant species considered very rare in the British Isles
Once the young Grow Guernsey Natives plants are established in trays, they are transferred from Guernsey Clematis to GROW’s vinery site in St Sampsons. Here, the Crew gets involved with looking after the plants, transferring them to individual pots, and caring for them by keeping them watered and in good condition ready for sale. Joining forces with La Société Guernesiaise has given the Crew an invaluable opportunity to learn about nature and the local environment while helping to develop various skills, including numeracy and literacy. Thanks to this collaborative effort, the scheme is already proving successful.
In 2022, its first year, seven species of native and naturalised plants were available for local gardeners to purchase at GROW. Already several more species have been added to the range and it is hoped that this budding success will increase dramatically in the coming years, helping to secure the future of the Bailiwick’s rare local plant species.
Hand Picked Hotels is proud to support the invaluable work of Grow Guernsey. For more information on the charity and its work, visit www.grow.gg