Woodland Nature Reserves

Butterfield Nature Reserve

Location: Point Shares Road, Pembroke. Open free from dawn to dusk. 

This little gem of a nature reserve includes a steeply sloping hillside with an intact remnant of upland Bermuda Palmetto forest.  Some of the Palmettos still bear the scars from sap-tapping; in early days Palmetto sap was fermented into a highly alcoholic drink called bibby.

The reserve’s entrance is marked by a set of moss-covered steps and a brass plaque. The first section was given to the Trust in 1981 by Mr. and Mrs. Dudley Butterfield. In 1984, the day after a bulldozer appeared to excavate the adjoining half-acre lot, Mr. Butterfield purchased it and added it to the Butterfield Reserve. In 2000 and 2003, the Butterfields donated a further 1.5 acres, making the entire reserve just over 2.5 acres.

The more recently donated sections include a tennis court with a small changing house, two banana patches and a wild garden containing unusual exotic palms and Heliconia.

Gilbert Nature Reserve

Location: Springfield, 29 Somerset Road, Sandys. Open free from dawn to dusk.

Located off the main road in Somerset Village, Gilbert Nature Reserve comprises five acres of unspoiled woodland with paths that connect to the Railway Trail. Visitors will find some magnificent examples of mature Bermuda cedars in the northeastern corner, and the area is also an excellent spot for bird watching. The Trust acquired the reserve in 1973.

Adjacent to the reserve is Springfield, one of Bermuda’s built-heritage treasures. The building complex was started in the 1740s, and is an excellent example of plantation-style Bermudian architecture. The outbuildings include the Island’s most photographed buttery.

Gladys Morrell Nature Reserve

Location: East Shore Road, Sandys. Open free from dawn to dusk.

On this beautiful little nature reserve you will find the tranquility associated with old Bermuda. Many varieties of endemic trees flourish here including Bermuda Cedars and Olivewoods. The reserve is also a nesting area for  Bluebirds.

Gladys Morrell, Bermuda’s leading suffragist, gave this two-acre site to the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, Sandys Chapter in 1951. It was donated to the Trust in 1973 in her memory. It was reforested with a wide variety of native and endemic flora in 1974, which grew in well but later began to be overwhelmed by invasive species. The Trust continues to battle against invasive species on this reserve.

IW Hughes Nature Reserve

Location: Walsingham, Harrington Sound Road, Hamilton Parish. Open free from dawn to dusk.

This 1.25 acre tract of woodland forms part of the much larger wilderness area of Walsingham commonly known as “Tom Moore’s Jungle”. Walking trails wind through lush forest,  pinnacle rock formations and cave systems, making this an exciting area for exploring. The terrain is challenging in places (and not suitable for wheelchairs) but well worth the effort.

The Walsingham area includes Bermuda’s oldest geological formation, with very hard ‘karst’ rock and irregular topography. This made it impossible for quarrying and unsuitable for farming. As a result, much of Bermuda’s rarest native and endemic flora survives here undisturbed, including rare native and endemic ferns.

Access to the reserve is from the road leading to Tom Moore’s Tavern off Harrington Sound Road in Hamilton Parish. Access to Walsingham Nature Reserve may also be gained through Blue Hole Park.

The reserve is named after Idwal Hughes, whose family donated the land to the National Trust in 1982.

Rebecca Middleton & S-Hill Nature Reserve

Location: Ord Road, Paget.  Open free from dawn to dusk.

These two small reserves lie on a popular section of the Railway Trail between Harmony Hall on South Road and S-Hill in Paget, and so they contribute to the “Emerald Necklace” of Bermuda’s linked open spaces.

Together about three-quarters of an acre, they comprise mature woodland with a diverse mix of naturalised tree species and a clear understorey. The first lot was donated by Adrianna Goodfellow, who, with her sister Shirley Mulder, also gave the Ship’s Inn property at Darrell’s Wharf to the Trust.

The second lot was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Cook in 2006 and named in memory of Rebecca Middleton, a Canadian teenager who was brutally murdered in Bermuda in 1996. Coincidentally, Mrs. Cook’s maiden name is Middleton. Her family once owned the much of the area, as evidenced by the nearby Middleton Lane.

Scaur Lodge Nature Reserve

Location: Scaur Lane, off Somerset Road, Sandys. Open free from dawn to dusk. 

This six-acre nature reserve is located on the west side of Somerset Road near Fort Scaur and comprises woodland and farmland. A trail off Scaur Lane, on the north side of the property, leads up to a seat that provides lovely views over Ely’s Harbour. To the south, the land extends to a small beach on Scaur Hill Drive. The reserve was donated by the C.S. Mott family.

Chaplin O'Neill Nature Reserve

Location: Harbour Road, Warwick NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Donated by Lady Ona O’Neill Chaplin in 1989 this 0.56-acre reserve comprises a woodland area and a strip of waterfront. The property features Bermuda Palmetto and the shrub St. Andrew’s Cross and commands magnificent views of Granaway Deep.

Elm Lodge Nature Reserve

Location: Harbour Road, Warwick NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Donated by one of the Trust’s founding members, Dr David Wingate, this six-acre reserve is a significant tract of woodland, at presently consisting largely of Allspice forest.  It also features arable land, pasture, walking trails and an orchard. Additional features of the reserve are a quarry and a remarkably well-preserved ancient lime kiln.

 

Lighthouse Hill Nature Reserve

Location: South Road, Southampton NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

This 5.13 acre nature reserve was purchased by the Bermuda National Trust in 2009. The mature woodland is now permanently protected, for everyone, forever. Its acquisition was truly a rare opportunity not only due to the property’s location and outstanding amenity value but also because of its habitat value owing to the maturity and composition of the trees and the unfragmented nature and size of the woodland.

Tivoli North

Location: 45 Middle Road, Warwick NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

The 12-acre Tivoli property comprises valley and upland hillside habitat. It is made up of three distinct elements: the house (leased to a nursery school), the lower wetland (now the Higgs Reserve) and the hillside woodland known as Tivoli North Nature Reserve. Left to the Trust by Gloria Higgs in 1984, the estate’s hillside had been a dairy farm, and grazing had denuded the property of mature vegetation.

The Trust embarked on a major reforestation project, replanting it mainly with the endemic Bermuda Cedar and Palmetto. But 25 years later invasives such as the Brazil Pepper had gained the upper hand, dominating the slower-growing Cedars and Palmettos. Another woodland management programme was instituted, with funding from the UK’s Overseas Territories Environment Fund. This time the project was targeted at removing invasives to enable the native trees to become pre-eminent.

Wilkinson Nature Reserve

Location: Fractious Street, Hamilton Parish NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

A steep and lushly wooded hillside, presently dominated by non-native trees such as Fiddlewood, Allspice and Chinese Fan Palm, this half-acre parcel of land was a gift from Mrs. Bernard Wilkinson in memory of her husband, Henry Bernard Logier Wilkinson. She conveyed it to the Trust in 1982. Her reasons really sum up the motivation for most gifts of open space to the Trust: “For the principal purpose of promoting the well-being of bird life and as a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife, and to preserve the natural features”.