More than two weeks after Jersey Water made the decision to close its public reservoirs ahead of Storm Ciarán, the water utility has confirmed that the sites will reopen from Saturday (18 November).
Both Queen’s Valley and Val de la Mare reservoirs were closed on 1 November, the day before the storm hit the Island, and have not reopened to the public since. Significant damage was caused at both sites, with large numbers of trees uprooted and footpaths left impassible.
Tree surgeons have been in operation at both reservoirs, clearing trees and making pathways safe again.
Helier Smith, Chief Executive of Jersey Water, commented:
“It’s been no small task for the Island to address the damage caused by Storm Ciarán. We are pleased to be able to re-open the reservoirs to the public from this weekend; we know how much Islanders value these open spaces and we have appreciated the support and understanding we have received from so many while we have been forced to remain closed.
Jersey Water employees, tree surgeons and the team at Jersey Trees for Life have worked tirelessly since the storm, in very wet and windy weather conditions, to make sure the reservoirs are safe again for people to use. Even though both reservoirs are now back open for the public to enjoy, there are areas set back off the footpaths where trees have come down and we ask people to avoid these.”
While members of the public will be able to visit both reservoirs from Friday, access to certain areas of the Val de la Mare arboretum will not be possible until further notice, as Jersey Water’s maintenance partner, Jersey Trees for Life, continues to undertake clear-up operations.
Alex Morel from Jersey Trees for Life added:
“When people visit the arboretum, they will notice considerable damage to all of our collections. We have had to restrict access to certain areas where our tree surgeons are still working. These areas are not safe and will be signposted. We want to thank our team and the volunteers who have been helping to clear the paths. While we have been hugely saddened by the losses, we will be planting new specimen trees in the new year.”
Jersey Water once again thanks the public for respecting the reservoir closures over the last fortnight.