Insurance Corporation

An Interview with Ronez – Award Winners at our Conservation Awards

Following another inspiring year for our annual Conservation Awards, we caught up with Paul Pinel from Ronez, winners of the ‘Best Conservation Project’ in partnership with Durrell Wildlife…

Conservation Awards ICCI


+ How did Ronez hear about Insurance Corporation’s Conservation Awards?

Our Ronez colleagues in Guernsey have entered in previous years, winning in 2015 for their huge contribution to supporting biodiversity. With the prize money, they created a fantastic nature trail around Les Vardes Quarry which opened in April 2016 and is now enjoyed by many locals and visitors alike.

+ Your project really impressed the judges – how long have Ronez been involved with Durrell?

The red-billed choughs took a fancy to the quarry during their first free flight in 2013 and regularly return to the quarry faces and buildings. In 2015 the first wild-hatched chough for over 100 years fledged from a nest in the quarry. Affectionately named “Dusty” by Ronez staff, this bird is now old enough to breed and has a nest of his own in the quarry.

What is the long term goal for the project?

We will continue working closely with Durrell and “Birds On The Edge” as the wild chough population grows over the coming years. Research suggests that the birds favour the home-from-home habitat of quarry cliffs because they provide protection from land based predators and shelter from strong sea winds. We are proud to be part of such an important programme so as long as these magnificent birds choose the quarry, we will do our utmost to continue to support and care for them.

+ Do you and the team have any other projects planned for the future?

The prize money will enable Durrell to purchase DNA sexing kits and some additional bird ringing kits. They also propose improving our educational site visits by providing a spotting scope, binoculars and laminated identity cards. 

In addition, and subject to the necessary approvals, Ronez are planning to place information boards about our conservation work at various locations. These will assist visiting schools, groups and the like to learn more about Jersey’s wildlife and develop field skills, particularly in bird identification. We are also currently awaiting the installation of a second viewing platform which will further enhance the experience for our quarry visitors and staff.

+ How have Insurance Corporation’s Conservation Awards helped Ronez and Durrell?

Entering the Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards has highlighted how Durrell and Ronez have been working together to improve Jersey’s biodiversity. Ronez’s involvement has really emphasized that this is not just a Durrell project but a partner effort that is for the benefit of the whole island.

+ What advice would you give to other locals with a heart for conservation in the Channel Islands?

We all need to work together to protect all that is around us!

+ Will you be entering again in 2019?

We have really enjoyed being part of the 2018 Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards and would like to thank all involved for organising such a fabulous event. Both our Jersey and Guernsey businesses are really looking forward to entering again next year!

WATCH this years Jersey entry videos

WATCH this years Bailiwick of Guernsey entry videos

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