It has taken Peter Houguez 18 months to get the necessary permissions from the parish, highway authorities and landowners, find the right rope and get insurance and funding to stretch a special ‘bridge’ across Route des Marais.
On Thursday he watched proudly as a team from environmental charity Jersey Trees for Life, led by arboriculturalist Conrad Evans, strung the rope between two sturdy trees, at the legally required height of 19 feet above the road. He said: ‘It has been a long process as it has taken me about 18 months to see the rope finally go up. Talk about having to go the long way round to get something done! But we had to go through the whole process as there was nothing else to do.’
Having seen dead squirrels in the road as he led his cows from Goodlands Farm to their pastures in the summer of 2016, he decided to act. His quest began that October when he approached the parish for permission. That done, he had to get the OK from the Infrastructure Department and the two parishioners who owned the land on either side of the road. Ports of Jersey supplied the rope. Mr Houguez successfully applied for money from the Co-op’s Eco Fund and Jersey Trees for Life agreed to put the rope in place.
Katey White, the Co-op’s membership and community manager, said: ‘It’s wonderful to hear that Peter’s squirrel bridge is now in place and providing much-needed protection to the Island’s wildlife.
‘These small projects do so much to protect and enhance our Island but can often be overlooked for funding, which is why we introduced the Eco Fund a decade ago.’