Guernsey

Sark developer admits 'mistake' over gorse clearance

Gorse being cleared
Image caption Gorse was cleared from the Grande Beauregard tenement on Friday

Sark Estate Management has admitted to a "mistake" in the timing of land clearance on the island's west coast.

Gorse burning at the Grande Beauregard tenement was criticised by conservationists for putting the island's breeding birds in danger.

Managing director Kevin Delaney said "a mistake was made in the timing of clearing an area of gorse on an overgrown agricultural field".

He said in future "no such work will be undertaken at this time of the year".

Rosanne Guille, an artist and organiser of the Artists for Nature Sark Project was one of those who had criticised the timing of the work, which took place on Friday.

She said: "The beautiful wild habitat is being torn up and burnt along with the birds' nests."

Sue Daly, a wildlife photographer, said: "Gorse and blackthorn provide a valuable habitat for a wide range of insects and wild flowers.

"Birds likely to be nesting in it at this time of year include wrens, blackbirds, robins, whitethroats, stonechats and Dartford warblers."

Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, who reside on neighbouring Brecqhou and are directors of Sark Estate Management, have previously said they intended to plant 20,000 vines on their land in Sark and hope to be producing wine by 2014.

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