Staff from Standard Bank swapped their St Helier office for the Orangutans and Gibbons enclosure at Durrell to help kick-start a refurbishment programme of the area.
Organised as part of Standard Bank’s 150th anniversary celebrations, the four day project involved 80 staff including taking time out from their work week to provide 420 hours of hands-on support to the team at Durrell.
Gordon Hunt, deputy head of mammals at Durrell said: “The staff from Standard Bank worked really hard to clear overgrown areas of vegetation around the orangutan islands, which has greatly improved the view for the public especially from the playground area. The large island is now open again to the apes and they are very active outside enjoying the changes made and the old timber will be used as firewood in the biomass burner to heat the Island Bat Roost this winter, as well as in the campsite wood burners.
“We’re very grateful for their hard work and for the funding which enabled us to buy equipment needed to completely clear the moat of reeds which will grow back in time, but thanks to their efforts we do not have to worry about them for at least five years.”
Claire Reid, Head of Marketing and Communications, Standard Bank explained the significance of the project: “Durrell Wildlife Park is at the heart of the Jersey community and means a great deal to all of us who live and work in the Island. It was therefore our pleasure to lend a helping hand and work on the re-landscaping project within the Orangutan area as part of our anniversary celebrations this year. The week at Durrell was an excellent team building activity outside of the usual office routine, and everyone who took part came away feeling that their contribution will make a difference.”
“Standard Bank has had a presence in Jersey for 20 years and over that time we’ve built some strong partnerships with key Jersey organisations. Each year our staff volunteer their time to enhance our contribution and this year we are working with Durrell, an organisation which has a local presence and a global network like us. The project gives us an opportunity to support an important cause in a small but meaningful way, and at the same time create a stimulating new environment for these critically endangered animals.”
The refurbishment programme is being funded by a private donation, however, Standard Bank pledged additional support and manpower to Durrell to get the project off the ground.