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Research Case studies

Alderney Project

The group of five postgraduate students visited Alderney as the first stage of a long-term research project, led by tutor Tom Bliss, an Alderney resident, which will see current and future students of our University tackle the visual impact of new developments, measures to increase biodiversity, reduction and recycling of waste and potentials for eco-tourism.

The students have begun work on a variety of projects for the island including: 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 Alderney 2020.

Over time, both current and future students will add to a growing body of ecological, historical and archaeological data being developed by a number of universities though the Alderney Records Centre, while exploring the political, economic, design and landscape management issues associated with green tourism, waste disposal, renewable energy and self-sufficiency.

Tom commented: “A small island such as Alderney is essentially a village with a line round it which means that the social, economic and ecological processes within the island are relatively easy to observe and we can build a data set over time which will provide valuable information about global sustainability when scaled up to urban level. 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 - which will help enormously in their future careers.”

Chris Royffe, MA Landscape Architecture and Design Course Leader at our University, added: “Our live projects give students great value as they work in the context of applied staff research and of landscape practice which, in turn, aids their employment prospects on completion of the course.”

The field trip was sponsored by Alderney Renewable Energy, who are pioneering new turbine, substation and saltwater hydroelectric technologies to exploit the island's territorial waters, which contain some of the fastest tidal currents in the world. As an independent 'crown possession' (not forming part of the UK or the EU) Alderney uniquely owns its own sea bed.

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