Annie Burgess

Question 1. How important do you feel Alderney’s natural environment is to you personally and what specific measures would you put forward to ensure it is appropriately cared for?

One of my great joys is appreciating the natural beauty and visual historical interests of Alderney.

I walk and cycle every day and I never fail to get blown away by our natural environment. There is always something to see and enjoy. Be it the birds chattering in the trees, the wild flowers and the evening emergence of our bats, to the morning dew sitting on cobweb covered fields. I never tire of the wonder of the beauty and history that can be seen all around us. So the natural environment is very important to me.

I appreciate and see the work that the Alderney wildlife trust do. Be it the larger schemes, like the woodland project and gannet study, right down to the little simple important things like putting a cover in an area where slowworms have been seen so they have somewhere safe to be. It’s a living Island and I think we are all aware that we have to help support and care for our environment. It can be a delicate balance. I think the AWT have shown themselves to be able and effective custodians of this in Alderney. 

Question 2. As a States Member you will have responsibility for protecting and ensuring the wise use of Alderney’s natural assets. You will also be asked to ensure that the island’s economy and its community as a whole is maintained, and viable. How will you achieve sustainable economic and community development to ensure Alderney’s future and what key goals would you set to achieve this?

Education on environment issues is vital and I would encourage and support that. It is important to understand for example why the reed beds are so important. I have enjoyed very informative talks given by Claire, and also by John from the bird observatory, for the Darbie and Joan club. It is fascinating and also enlightening how delicate a balance it is in maintaining and encouraging the natural habitats of our native fauna and flora and the knock on effect it has, if those interlinked chains are disturbed, on other species.

When we talk about the Islands economy we must look at eco-tourism as it is something that is very lucrative and if handled sensitively can be a great asset. I think promotion is important and the States should be involved in helping with this. I also think there should be more assistance given by the States when it comes to encouragement and promotion of AWT festival and events. We must help to encourage and expand our tourism market.

Looking at renewable energy is important when talking of the future vitality of the Island. It is good to have the AWT in an advisory capacity to any future proposals when it comes to looking at environmental impacts. I would like to look at solar power. We also have potential revenue from our natural resources such as tidal development. I personally don’t think it is in Alderney’s interest to place large structures on the Island. We are too small for something like that and certainly not in our greenbelt. I did go to the Atlantis presentation and thought it was interesting to see the project is subsea including the hubs and the converters therefore avoiding any ground works on the Island itself. There is as well as gaining a revenue for Alderney, a potential for generating our own electricity which is good. I would like us to be cautious though and research the environmental effect on the Island. It is good to know we have the AWT to help with this.