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Introducing CENTRE: The Centre for Energy, Nature, Tourism, Research and the Environment

The Guernsey Partnership has agreed to collectively back the building of a flagship Centre for Energy, Nature, Tourism, Research and the Environment, to serve as a multi-purpose destination for the local community and visitors to the island.

Published: 15 September 2020 by Yvonne Burford

Part field centre, part environmental research base, part tourist attraction, part local meeting and conference venue, part energy advice and sustainability resource, the centre could incorporate some or all of the following:

  • Environmental research: Guernsey is uniquely placed for university students and others to undertake original research of its natural land and marine environment. This exciting project would be a way of attracting students to conduct research in Guernsey and to document Guernsey’s natural land and marine environment. There are many unstudied areas ripe for research.
  • An Energy Advice Centre: a one-stop shop for local residents to find independent advice and assistance on how to save on their energy bills, helping to address fuel poverty and the island’s carbon footprint amongst other benefits.
  • Tourist and student accommodation: a mix of accommodation from budget student style rooms to comfortable tourist rooms for researchers and tourists who wish to visit the island for its natural beauty, cliff walking, flora and fauna and marine environment. Nature Tourism is a large industry, and growing. It is out-performing current trends in general tourism. The ‘typical’ nature tourist is of a similar profile to Guernsey’s target market: they will be between 45-64 years of age and belong to higher socio-economic groups. Enhancing the offering and marketing of Guernsey’s natural environment supports Visit Guernsey’s aims.
  • A Bird Observatory: a centre for the study of bird migrations and bird populations of local birds, migrants in passage and rare sightings together with bird ringing and recording.
  • Conference facilities, restaurant and exhibition space incorporating the natural history items currently in storage on the island.
  • Incorporation of the existing Guernsey Biological Records Centre to encourage citizen science and engage local children in the natural environment. It would become accessible to the general public so that visitors could use the resources, speak to experts and view the records. This is not possible in its current location. By making data available online, the general public can be informed and enthused to observe, study and report sightings of Guernsey’s wildlife.
  • Courses available to locals and visitors on the natural land and marine environment.

Mood board montage images courtesy of Pixabay.com with central visualisation with kind thanks to James Langlois.