A NEW footpath has been opened in St Mary, linking a historic mill and the headquarters of the National Trust for Jersey.
The path at La Gigoulande Mill, which will join with the path through St Peter’s Valley to create a north-south route across the Island, was opened by the Lieutenant-Governor, Vice-Admiral Jerry Kyd.
The project was managed by the Island’s former receiver general David Pett, who worked on improving access to the 13th century mill during his time in office from 2013 to 2020.
Mr Pett said that a number of organisations had contributed to the project, including the Jersey Round Table working on refurbishing the millpond, the Probation Service using community service crews to build the path, and funding for fencing from the Roy Overland Charitable Trust.
Landowners such as Granite Products and the National Trust had also played significant roles, he added.
La Gigoulande Mill was a Crown mill first registered in 1247, one of only four water mills in the British Isles known to have been fitted with two ‘overshot’ wheels, with the water from the upper wheel feeding the lower wheel.
The lower wheel was used to generate electricity by German forces occupying the Island during the Second World War.
Prior to work on the 400-metre footpath, extensive work was carried out to remove overgrown vegetation and trees that had grown within the mill structure, while stonemasons were engaged to stabilise the mill.
Mr Pett said that the final piece of the footpath project would be a short stretch linking the mill and the millpond, which should be completed within the next six months. The project had originally been earmarked to be fully open by the time of the Platinum Jubilee, he added, before encountering delays caused by the Covid pandemic.
Mr Pett said: ‘Once this is finished it will be possible to walk from the south coast near Sandybrook to the National Trust HQ at the Elms, after which walkers can connect to other paths, including routes to the north coast.’