|Alderney Wildlife Trust 51 Victoria Street St. Anne Alderney GY9 3TA|
Telephone (01481) 822935 Email: email@example.com Website: www.alderneywildlife.org
Alderney Wildlife Trust Ltd (a company limited by guarantee), Registered Company No. 1410
MANAGERS SUMMARY 2010
I have the pleasure of compiling this, the 9th annual, Manager's Summary for the 2010 AGM of Alderney Wildlife Trust (Society).
Despite continued financial constraints, both within the wider economic scene and here on Alderney, the Trust has managed to maintain a generally positive stance over the last year. Staff numbers have grown balancing out a small decline in volunteer numbers, whilst membership has continued to increase.
The breadth of Trust responsibilities has continued to grow over time. The Trust now deals with everything from general tourist enquiries, to supporting animal welfare issues, undertaking island wide habitat surveys, the general maintenance of over 20km of footpath and the protection of around 1/8th of the island's total land area. This, coupled with a significant decrease in unrestricted donations over the last 12 months, has forced the Trust to refocus it 5 year strategy (compiled in 2007) with the aim of developing short simple management plans for each area of its operations.
This process has helped the Trust to identify a range of specific 'Projects' through which it undertakes it's 'Aims and Objectives', and the 'Resources' necessary to support them. The Alderney's Wildlife Trust Ltd's board of Directors, in supporting this change of practice, have agreed to take on responsibility for a rolling appraisal of each of these areas and have tasked me with drawing up short management documents and seeking voluntary support for each 'Project' and 'Resource'. In an attempt to support this process I have formatted this summary to highlight the new Trust structure. I would emphasis to the membership that the Trust is almost entirely reliant on your support to continue to fulfill its role here on Alderney, so if you think you could offer assistance in any of the following areas please contact the Trust.
These are the principal areas of work through which the Alderney Wildlife Trust endeavors; 'To preserve and enhance the biodiversity of Alderney by research, by conservation and by challenging the people of Alderney to gain a better understanding of their island.' (AWT Five Year Management Plan 2007-2012).
No 'Project' stands in isolation from the general workings of the Trust; however, they are all established and semi-self resourcing undertakings, managed by a member of staff (paid or voluntary).
Responsibility of Trust Conservation Officer/Manger
The AGAP herd has been maintained at a relative status quo over the last year, with a shift from a single intake of cattle occurring once a year to a staggered intake after each out going animal. The areas grazed by the herd have changed little over the last year. However, grazing times have been altered so that grazing on sites, such as Longis, now extends from late summer to early spring. The results in these areas are becoming increasingly clear and a re-assessment of species diversity was undertaken in April 2010 by a group from Hampshire Wildlife Trust, the results of which are awaited.
Income over 2009 reflected these changes with a reduced amount of meat as a bi-product of the grazing available to sell during the change over period. However with two animals reaching maturity in the six months the balance is rapidly being re-established.
Another significant change over the last year is a move to using meat from the AGAP heard for AWT events, especially barbeques. This should reflect in the coming year's accounts with a reduction in over all income from sales of meat, matched by a reduction in events costs. The move also allows the Trust to shorten the chain of supply in the management of two of its principal activities.
2. Alderney Records Centre (ARC)
Responsibility of Trust Ecologist
During 2008/09 the development and even on-going management of the ARC became an issue for the Trust. Whilst volunteers for the Alderney Society, and AWT volunteers performing data entry, continued to grow the ARC's resources, a shortfall in staff availability meant that, apart from a couple of main educational events, little time was available to concentrate on this vital resource.
To rectify this the Trust's Ecologist (Jen Stockdale) was tasked with securing additional labor to help with the ARC's ongoing development. This has been achieved, with the arrival of Assistant Ecologist Sarah Edwards. Though data collection in the form of several original pieces of research and follow up surveys for AGAP, RSPB, Butterfly Conservation, BTO and the Ramsar site, have all continued despite the short fallings, the continuing need to identify an appropriate recording database for the AWT has still as yet not been met. During the summer of 2010, Sarah and Jen continue to work on this larger issue and we hope that the ARC will be back on track soon.
It is the Trust's intent that ARC becomes the centre point for all future ecological research and development undertaken by the Trust.
3. Community Woodland
Responsibility of the Trust Conservation Officer
The Community Woodland has developed from a widely supported concept in 2009, to a reality in 2010. The Trust's Conservation Officer Keris Burt took charge of the undertaking to plant 43 acres of native woodland, over the next 3-5 years, late in 2009. Since then agreements to manage the land have been reached with the landlord, the States of Alderney, as well as several sitting tenants. Funding from both private sources and the States of Alderney has also been secured, alongside physical support from the island's public works department. In February of this year over 1,000 trees were planted on the southern most area of the site as a 'proof of project', with over 80 volunteers joining in to make the day a huge success.
Late in May 2010 the Bailiwick's prestigious 'Environment Award' was presented to the project alongside a cheque for £2000 from the Insurance Corporation. This money will go towards developing a new information facility on the site, to be built in a converted Word War II bunker. Additional work is being put into developing options for private contributions towards the project, to complement existing support from the Rotary and 41 Clubs as well as the Alderney Guides.
Responsibility of the Trust Manager
The Trust lists most of its educational activities as being either directly related to one of its 'Projects' or covered by the existing programme of main events. Therefore its principal educational activities include the following:
Nest Box Building 2010 Continued to be a positively received event in 2010.
The Great Shark Egg Hunt 2010 thanks to good weather this event saw over 45 people attending.
Alderney Wildlife Week this event continued to grow in popularity with Dr George McGavin and now David Lindo (the Urban Birder) taking on guest guide roles.
Alderney Week 2009 The Trust continued to supply a broad range of events and activities for this main Alderney event. These prove to be not only a good way to involve larger groups but also a financial benefit to the Trust.
Alderney Wildlife Festival 2009 One of the most popular Festivals to be held to-date. 2009's event had as its centre piece the 'Alderney Fete', which proved to be an island wide success with over 400 people attending. Miranda Krestovnikoff acted as the Trust's special guest throughout and played host at the Fete.
Beach Watch Continued to be well attended with around 15 bags of litter survey collected and recycled from Braye Beach.
5. Footpaths (public access)
Responsibility of the Trust Secretary
As with most areas of the Trust's Conservation Volunteering a general status quo was maintained in regards to the ongoing management of around 20km of the island's footpaths. The increasing demands on equipment, and volunteers, was noticeably felt with no volunteer available and trained to drive the ever important power scythe.
Also of growing concern is the aging nature of much of the Trust's hand tools, as well as the increasing needs for maintenance on the Trust's main power tools especially with the growing fuel and repair costs. During the early part of 2010 the Trust managed to undertake all it path maintenance on schedule for perhaps the first time in its 8 years of existence. However, it continues to look for volunteers who are willing to take on areas of path as their specific patch of concern and assist with general maintenance by training up on the larger equipment.
6. Other sites
Responsibility of the Trust Manager
These other sites include the Bonne Terre, Giffoine, Ladysmith and Trois Vaux. General work to maintain access and habitats where appropriate continued in these areas as usual. However, additional effort was put into the maintenance of the Ladysmith Lavourette and Abreuvoir Publique by a combined force of Trust Volunteers, and children/teachers from St. Anne's School. Discussions with St. Anne's to expand these work sessions are now underway and it is hoped that the school and Trust will be able to organise 3 such conservation parties each year for a variety of ages.
The Trust also worked alongside the Andy Goldsworthy project to enlarge an existing pond in Trois Vaux late in 2009. Unfortunately very wet conditions led to vehicles becoming bogged down and the work was abandoned with only a slightly enlarged pond area completed. Work on restoring the damaged valley access path and continuing the enlargement will start after the end of the bird breeding season in early September 2010.
Responsibility of the Trust Ecologist
2009 was the 4th year of the current Ramsar Management plan and the 5th year since the site was designated. Early in 2009 the area around the Les Etacs gannetry was identified by the Marine Conservation Society as one of the most suitable sites within the Bailiwick for designation as a Marine Protected Area (MPA).
Over the course of 2009 weather conditions and staffing difficulties meant that several areas of survey remained uncompleted. Thanks to the hard work of Bill Black, Lynn Riley (Ramsar Volunteers) and Jen Stockdale the 2010 season has seen this short-fall somewhat rectified with new areas of work including the creation of new nesting sites for the Burhou storm petrel colony in August.
8. Reserves both Longis and Vau du Saou
Responsibility of Trust Manager
As with items 5 and 6 work continued as in previous years, with bracken control, access management, brown-tail moth and ragwort control, maintenance of bird hides and other facilities all continuing under the care of the Conservation Volunteers and several local volunteers with a special interest in these areas.
The Crassula helmsii control in Mannez pond was successful again in 2009. However, the restriction on the sale on the chemical used in the control process early in 2010 meant that the continued work to eradicate this pernicious weed has been suspended pending an alternative solution. Work commenced on the restoration of Mannez Quarry after its use during the rebuilding of the Commercial Quay. This work included the creation of a 1/4th of an acre of new wetland resource thanks to a generous donation from Robin Whicker, the support of the States of Alderney and GeoMarine. Work will continue on this new area as resources become available, with plans to shrub the new area's slopes and to enclose its entrance to prevent casual access to the pond's reedbed.
A change of States of Alderney Policy early in 2010 led to the cessation of pumping of ground water from the Longis bore holes early in the year. This has seen Longis pond full for the first time in over 8 years.
With only limited secure funding from the States of Alderney grant, the Trust is extremely dependant on generating 'Project' specific 'Resources'. With this in mind the Trust aims to consider all its resources as those of the Trust as a whole and to allocate them against 'Projects' as the ability and need arises.
1. Commercial Activities
Responsibility of the Trust Manager, Hon. Secretary and Shop Manager
This year the Trust has worked hard to continue growing and developing its commercial activities. Since 2006 the Trust has operated a separate and wholly owned subsidiary in the Alderney Wildlife Trust Enterprises Ltd and in the early part of 2010 the decision was made to move all new and some existing commercial activities to this company. This has been done to ensure the Trust's separation from activities such as environmental consultancy, which might otherwise be seen as a direct conflict of interest. The hope is also to increase the availability of paid work for Trust voluntary staff and hopefully build the staffing resource.
I. Alderney Wildlife Trust Ltd
It should be noted that existing core activities which have a financial consideration have remain within the remit of the Trust, these include:
Wildlife Shop Shop sales continued to grow in 2009 with the total net income reaching £8545. Our grateful thanks go to all those volunteers who man both the Information Centre and shop. Special thanks go to Caroline Gauvain who continues to manage all elements of the shop and its development.
Educational Activities These activities include those undertaken as part of the Trust's existing educational programme and which also have a significant financial importance to the organisation. These include Alderney Week, the Wildlife Festival and the Wildlife Week.
II. Alderney Wildlife Trust Enterprises Ltd
AWTE operates in parallel with the AWTE. Over time, as more commercial functions of the Trust are undertaken by AWTE, the Trust's accounts will show a growing divergence in Trust, against AWTE, income. It should be noted however, that all income created by the operations of AWTE will be repaid to the Trust and that AWTE is a recognised charity in its own right. Its current areas of operation include:
All future consultancy work for government, private enterprise and individuals will be undertaken through the AWTE. This includes areas of consultancy as diverse as Environmental Impact Assessment on behalf of the Alderney Commission for Renewable Energy (ACRE), a 1 year contract (with option on extension to 3 years) which was signed earlier this year, to household consultancy on renewables and green gardening.
The AWTE's employees will primarily be drawn directly from the existing Trust Staff. However, where specific contracts require skills otherwise unavailable these will be sourced on the open market.
Walks and Tours
With the addition of Sally Barber as the Trust's main guide early in 2010, it is now possible for the Trust to expand its existing programme of walks and tours. This now includes regular scheduled weekly countryside and town walks and specific contract tours for visiting groups including cruise ships, with 3 undertaken during 2009, increasing to 3 to-date in 2010, and niche groups such as Holts Battlefield Tours.
Though the main functions of Essex Farm fall into the undertakings of the Trust, the following are undertaken by AWTE:
Private event hire including birthday parties, weddings and club events
Hostel facilities these have seen increased use during the early part of 2010 with groups from SeaSearch and Birmingham University joining the residents at the Farm in 2010.
Responsibility divided between Trust Manager, Ecologist and Conservation Officer
During the last 4 years the Trust has significantly expanded its equipment pool in every area. This has created a situation where the organisation is now maintaining an aging range of equipment, with increased maintenance and fuel costs, with little or no increase in supporting income. As part of the current review of the Trust's operational equipment in areas such as conservation, the need for increased working alongside the States of Alderney will be considered in order that duplication of costs and equipment might be minimised. The following are the main areas in which the Trust maintains a significant equipment resource:
Conservation Management - includes hand and power tools (tractor, power scythe, strimmers etc)
Ecological survey includes Sunrise (6.3m coded RIB)
Office facilities both the main Trust Office and the staff/visitor facilities at Essex Farm (5 computer work stations, multiple printers etc)
The following Trust facilities continue to play a significant role in the Trust's operation:
Alderney Information Centre/AWT Office the centre for all Trust operations
Bunkers - these includes the following which are either integral parts of one of the nature reserves or stand alone facilities such as the ZigZag walkers' shelter:
4. Essex Farm
Responsibility of the Trust Manager
The Farm continues to play a vital role in the Trust's main works programme, supporting all activities from the ARC to Commercial development. Its non commercial functions continue to be:
Conservation Management inclusive of workshop, storage and general faculties for the Conservation Volunteers and if necessary the AGAP herd
Events and Activities over the last 12 months the shift towards most events at and around Essex Farm has continued. The facilities have managed to hold up to the task, however, it is becoming increasingly apparent that after the leasehold negotiations scheduled for later this year, additional investment in facilities would enable the Trust to exploit this facility further.
Staff Accommodation The Farm continues to provide a residence for 3 members of Trust staff and 1 member of Alderney Society Staff. A refurbishment of the facilities is scheduled for September 2010, the last one being in September 2008. Anyone willing to do some painting will be very welcome
Responsibility of the 'Alderney Wildlife' Editorial Team
Trust membership has continued to grow and now equates to approximately 25% of the Island's population. Thanks to the continued hard efforts of Lindsay Pyne, and now the assistance of Margaret Storer, the membership subscription process is coping with the additional strain. New membership forms and improved facilities on line (created by Caroline Gauvain) were supplied after proposals from Georgia Diebel.
However, the Trust continues to look for a dedicated volunteer to help develop Trust membership to its full potential:
The exact breakdown is as follows:
Families (based on 3.2 individuals) - 365
Founder (based on 2 individuals)- 36
Watch - 9
Business - 17
Total - 616
Percentage resident in Alderney - 61%
Magazine 'Alderney Wildlife' has continued under the dedicated management team of David Wedd (editor), Robin Whicker (sub editor) and Caroline Gauvain (publications). The quality of both the design and content is so far removed from those first days of the Trust that we have prepared folders containing all the copies to-date so that anyone interested can drop in to the Information Centre to see the metamorphosis.
Print runs have grown over the last year from 350 to 400 copies. However, with the increasing cost of printing, copies still cost over £1.10 each to produce and more than 70% of the cost of an adult membership goes towards membership materials and mailing costs. This figure doesn't include the hundreds of hours of voluntary effort from those involved in producing and delivering each issue.
After 5 years of involvement David Wedd will be standing down as editor in chief at the end of the year. Anyone with ideas or an interest in getting involved will be welcomed with open arms so do please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Responsibility of the Trust Manager
As with all aspects of life on Alderney the Trust could not function without the support of both the Alderney and wider communities. Though the Trust currently interacts on a regular basis, through a wide range of 'Projects', with its stakeholders there is as yet no cohesive programme for managing stakeholder involvement. The following groups are those with which the Trust hopes to extend its ties, and anyone with an interest in this area of management would be welcome to join the team:
NGO's inclusive of Societe Guernesiaise, RSPB, BTO, RSWT
States of Alderney
Responsibility of the Trust Manager and Robin Whicker
Over the last year the volunteer work force that makes Trust possible has continued to develop and change. Given its very nature volunteering is dependant on who is on island and to a large degree the involvement/management available to support their volunteering activities.
Celia Boatright took on the role of Information Centre volunteer co-ordinator early in 2009, and it is by looking at the success of this area of volunteering that the current management plans are being prepared. The Trust is currently searching for volunteer coordinators for its conservation volunteering and ARC teams and hopes to have completed a full review of volunteering, with ideas on how to improve the experience, over the next few months.
Responsibility of the Trust Manager
The Trust continues to be largely staffed by a group of incredibly hard working resident and 'Placement' staff. During 2009 we had to say a sad goodbye to Afra Skene (Ecologist), Sarah Cox (Reserves Officer) and Susan Allender (Assistant Ecologist, however, we have now welcomed in Jen Stockdale (Ecologist), Keris Burt (Conservation Officer) and Sarah Edwards (Assistant Ecologist).
The Trust is also lucky to have the additional support of Alastair Riley who has offered to help grow and develop this area of the Trust's operations.