Students to turn channel island into eco-haven

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A GROUP of university students from Yorkshire are aiming to turn a channel island into a haven for eco-tourism as part of a major research project.

Five post graduate landscape architecture students from Leeds Metropolitan University are carrying out the work in Alderney, led by tutor Tom Bliss who lives on the island. Their work will include converting a ruined Victorian fortress into a sustainable hotel and conference centre, developing sculpture in a wild landscape, improving waste recycling and creating a sustainable plan for the island.

The project is also aiming to minimise the visual impact on new developments, increase bio-diversity and help develop the island’s potential for eco-tourism. Mr Bliss said: “A small island such as Alderney is essentially a village with a line round it.

“This means that the social, economic and ecological processes within the island are easy to observe and we can build a data set over time which will provide information about global sustainability when scaled up to urban level.” He added: “The island is also unusually rich in aesthetic and cultural terms, as well as being at the forefront in of the renewable energy field, so the students have a rich seam of ideas and issues to mine in their work.”

Chris Royffe, the landscape architecture and design course leader at Leeds Met, said: “Our live projects give students great value as they work in the context of applied staff research and of landscape practice which aids their employment prospects.”