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BNT Leadership Announcement

The Bermuda National Trust is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Vaucrosson as our new Executive Director, effective November 1.  We are also excited to welcome two more new additions to the teams - Britt Franklin Call our new Director of Development and Engagement and Randolph Joynes our new Property Manager.   Click here to read more about BNT leadership changes

A message from Amanda Outerbridge, Interim Executive Director:
 
Welcome to Andrew Vaucrosson who joins the Trust as our new Executive Director on November 1. The attached announcement, also includes news of our new Director for Development and Engagement, Britt Call, and Property Manager, Randolph Joynes. The professional skills and experience they bring to the Trust are immensely positive for our future.
 
As outgoing interim Executive Director, I'd like to wish them the very best and assure them that they are becoming part of a dynamic team. At the Trust we accomplish what we do because of your support as members, and our whole team's commitment. It's the only way we can continue to be good stewards of Bermuda's built and natural heritage, keeping it safe and accessible "for everyone forever".
 
Thank you for your support over the past months; all of us are needed to get through this together.
 
Amanda Outerbridge
 
Interim Executive Director January-October 2020
Executive Director 1993-2003

Wilkinson Quarry Objection

Wilkinson Quarry Objection | June, 10th 2020

Click the link below to read more the objection regarding the proposed demolition of an unstable mound with a subterranean void in Wilkinson Quarry, Hamilton Parish.

Wilkinson Quarry Cave Objection 

BUILT HERITAGE: Southlands

BUILT HERITAGE | May 8, 2020

By Linda Abend, Bermuda National Trust

In conjunction with the National Museum of Bermuda, the Trust is going to run a series of short articles about the buildings that we consider most at risk in Bermuda and the most worth saving. 

Anna, the wife of Montreal merchant James Morgan, bought 31½ acres and an old Bermuda house from the heirs of Thomas Dunscomb in 1913. The core of the house can be traced with certainty to 1820 but is thought to date as far back as 1745. The property was already known as Southlands and it became James Morgan’s retirement project. Using stone cut from his quarries, he almost immediately began to extend the house. With the help of Bermudian architect Edward Tucker, the integrity of the original U-shaped house with its three uniquely-positioned butteries was not compromised. The quarries were turned into individually themed gardens with a variety of exotic imported plants. The Egyptian quarry for instance contained a pool of water lilies fringed by papyrus. Morgan purchased several nearby properties, eventually owning over 80 acres.

A philanthropist in Canada, James Morgan was generous in Bermuda. In 1920 he gave money to his neighbourhood school, Warwick Academy, which allowed them to complete the wings and build the assembly hall. He was a member of the Warwick Parish Development Committee set up in 1917 to tackle the deficiency in the food supply by encouraging home gardening and the cultivation of all available land. The Morgans held fundraisers at Southlands to help with the cost of equipment needed for the newly opened King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

Click here to read the full article

To learn more about the history of Southlands see our newest book from out Architectural Heritage Series: Warwick, available for purchase.

BUILT HERITAGE: Independent Order of Odd Fellows’ Loyal Irresistible Lodge

BUILT HERITAGE | MARCH 19, 2020

By Linda Abend and Margie Lloyd, Bermuda National Trust

In conjunction with the National Museum of Bermuda, the Trust is going to run a series of short articles about the buildings that we consider most at risk in Bermuda and the most worth saving. This is the first article.

Located on the corner of Cambridge and Somerset roads is the Independent Order of Odd Fellows’ Loyal Irresistible Lodge No. 6587. Named after HMS Irresistible then stationed in Bermuda, it is without a doubt the most elaborate of all the lodge buildings.

Designed by John W Greig as a two-storey building, 56’ x 29’ x 14’ on each floor with a side tower, the cornerstone was laid in April 1901. From start to finish the work was done on a voluntary basis by the Brethren of the Lodge and when completed was debt-free. The grand new hall was dedicated with much pomp and circumstance on May 30, 1902. Participating in the celebration were members of the other Friendly Societies who arrived from Hamilton and St George’s on the steamer Corona. The newspaper remarked that “the most important feature of the parade was the presence of the Juvenile Branches... It is to them the Odd Fellows must look to build up their Lodges in the future”.

Click Here to Read More

New Nature Reserve, Eve's Pond

PRESS RELEASE: Joint Statement: Buy Back Bermuda, The Bermuda National Trust and the Bermuda Audubon Society: Breaks ground for new nature reserve

March, 9th 2020 - A new nature reserve in Hamilton Parish will be open to the public this suBmmer. Ground was broken on Friday for the restoration of Eve’s Pond, a project by Buy Back Bermuda, the joint initiative of Bermuda National Trust and Bermuda Audubon Society. In 1941 Eve’s Pond was filled in with sand dredged from Flatts Inlet. Funds raised from the community enabled Buy Back to acquire the 3.5-acre property in 2012, and prepare for its restoration as a sanctuary for wildlife and public enjoyment. Stay tuned for updates on this important conservation project.

Eve's Pond Press Release

Open Space Quarrying Proposal

PRESS RELEASE: Joint Statement: Bermuda National Trust and Bermuda Audubon Society on Judkin Lane, Hamilton Parish, Open Space quarrying proposal

February 11, 2020 - The Bermuda National Trust and Bermuda Audubon Society are extremely disappointed with the decision of the Minister of Home Affairs to approve the proposed commercial quarrying on the lot north of 9 Judkin Lane in Hamilton Parish, against the recommendation of the Independent Planning Inspector appointed to review the appeal.

As noted by the Independent Planning Inspector, this decision overturns the protection of Bermuda’s open space afforded by the Bermuda Plan 2018 and would result in the permanent destruction of a large section of woodland on a highly visible hillside in an area of significant environmental value.

 

We urge the Government to put in place a long-term plan for the provision of slate from acceptable development zones, for present and future use. The current approach is too damaging to our long-term future.

The ongoing piecemeal loss of Bermuda’s places of natural beauty, so essential to the wellbeing of the entire community, including our tourism product, is alarming. It flies in the face of the growing global understanding that we must do more, not less, to protect woodlands as part of the global fight against climate change.

Joint statement BNT BAS- Judkin Lane.pdf 

BNT Appeals the Decision to Approve

 PRESS RELEASE: BNT Appeals the Decision to Approve PLAN-0082-19

The Bermuda National Trust has appealed the decision of the Development Applications Board to approve a large six-storey quarry on Judkin Lane (planning application PLAN-0082-19) and has received great support from both the Bermuda Audubon Society and BEST.


The proposal for a quarry, and that of an enormous house proposed in same location under a separate application, will have significant detrimental effects on a pristine natural area including three of our properties which we are charged to protect: two Nature Reserves, HT North and Mangrove Lake, that support many endangered species, and a wooded property with a house – the old Hamilton Parish Post Office - that today accommodates two residences. This proposal poses an unacceptable risk to the tenants’ safety and quality of their lives and would have a harmful effect on the Reserves.


As a charity with the primary goal of preserving the island’s built heritage and building methods, we in no way object to the quarrying of slate and we have much sympathy for members of the public who have been unable to acquire slate to repair their houses after Hurricane Humberto. However, we have been informed, as has the Government, that the owners of a historic slate quarry, not 300ft away from this site, offered that their quarry, in an unobtrusive location, be reopened to meet the current need – as it was in 2014 following Hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo – but to our knowledge, the owners did not receive a response or the proposal given the appropriate consideration.


We objected to this application for the following reasons:

  • The proposal is for a six-storey quarry accessible only from a private driveway that is the only access to two of our residences;
  • The site has permission only for a 1,000sqft house on the site of an existing ruin that necessitates no significant excavation;
  • The site is designated by the 2018 Bermuda Plan entirely for conservation and the proposal is in no way compatible with this or the surrounding natural environment;
  • An application, PLAN-0023-19, that has not been decided yet, for a 6,000+sqft house (12,000+sqft including hard landscaping) was erroneously presented to the Board as a fait accompli; we and a host of other concerned neighbours and conservation groups have objected to the house and its inappropriate scale and massing – not one house in the area exceeds 2,000sqft;
  • This type of commercial and industrial process is only permitted in a development area, which this site is not;
  • The Conservation Management Plan for the site was seriously flawed, provided no opportunity for public input, and inexplicably was given the go ahead, facilitating the deforestation of the entire Woodland Reserve on a steep and highly visible hillside;
  • The clearing of this woodland encroached onto our property and removed a significant section of National Trust protected woodland;
  • The applicant did not comply with the conditions of Planning and the Conservation Management Plan;
  • The fact that no protected woodland remained onsite (due to the above) was perversely used as grounds to approve the development;
  • The site was subject to an outstanding Planning Enforcement complaint as the owner misused the site’s Agricultural Reserve to store industrial equipment;
  • Allowing Judkin Lane, a very narrow and curving single-track lane, for the use of heavy vehicles for an intense industrial process is not only environmentally unsound but poses a real threat to other road users;
  • The real impact of traffic was not adequately presented to the Board;
  • The application was not advertised as normal, nor were the details clear, meaning that many of the neighbours and other concerned conservation bodies were denied their right to provide input;
  • We submitted our objection on the deadline on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 23, and the Board approved the application less than 48 hours later – meaning that its contents and concerns could not have possibly been given the proper scrutiny, analysis or consideration;
  • The impact of noise, vibration, dust, traffic, air quality and runoff on our residences, neighbours and on the Nature Reserves HT North and Mangrove Lake and the wildlife they sustain was not established;
  • The quarry will have an unacceptable impact and pose a threat to safety of the residents of one of our houses; 40ft from the garden of two small children;
  • The operation licence will not mitigate the impact of noise, vibration etc. on our residences;
  • The noise assessment submitted with the application is for a different property so has no bearing on this application as it is for a completely different site in a different environment;
  • The applicant recently operated another quarry that was subject to stop orders and a retroactive planning application for quarrying in Woodland Reserve and this was not presented to the Board;  conversely the operation of the proposed quarry, PLAN-0082-19, was represented to the Board as an operation that would be carried out in an orderly manner and for a limited duration;
  • The dismissal of the visual impact as being only ‘temporary’ is wrong. No dwelling will be able to obscure a six-storey quarry and the scarring of this important prominent hillside will be an eyesore to the public forever.

 

  Press Release.pdf 

BNT Summer Update 2019

The Bermuda National Trust hopes that everyone is having a lovely summer. In case you missed it, the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda (RAB) recently published an Integrated Resource Plan which lays out a plan to meet the island’s future electricity demand through a variety of sources. 

 

The plan can be found here Bermuda Integrated Resource Plan and there is an executive summary that we encourage everyone to read

The Bermuda National Trust is delighted to see that the RAB has selected option (1D) that aims to have at least 75% of Bermuda’s future energy use come from renewables by 2035, and is also one of the options with the lowest carbon emissions.

 

While there are still feasibility studies to be done, we certainly welcome this direction for the island as it is an important move away from fossil fuels towards more sustainable electricity.

 

We would like to congratulate the RAB and all the public and private bodies that were involved in the consultation process to ensure Bermuda is not too heavily reliant on fossil fuels.

 

Also in July we submitted an objection to a planning subdivision application for the former Riddell’s Bay golf course that seeks to create 19 additional building lots and would result in the loss of 20+acres of conservation land including the development of a 0.66km section of pristine coastline.

 

The application did propose the creation of an open space and nature reserve area. However, this is not set in stone and as such, we feel, cannot be considered alongside the subdivision as a positive aspect.  

 

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Annual Children's Nature Walk

Jeffrey's Cave 1 HO 2017.jpg

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

April 3, 2019 - Hundreds of children are expected to head out into nature tomorrow (Thursday, April 4) when the Bermuda National Trust’s annual children’s Nature Walk takes place at Spittal Pond.

This firm favourite for many holiday camps and families takes place from 9.30am until noon, starts from the eastern end of Spittal Pond and is free thanks to the sponsorship of Arch Re.

It is primarily aimed at children aged between 5 and 12, but parents, grandparents and teachers are welcome.   

Participants walk the length of the park in small groups and stop at eight points where experts on everything from birds to geology to history share their knowledge with the children.

Bermuda National Trust Executive Director Bill Zuill said: “Last week we were thrilled to host filmmaker David Bond in Bermuda to screen “Project Wild Thing” which explored ways to get children out from behind their computer screens and into nature. The Children’s Nature Walk is a perfect way to get children into the open air and into nature for fun and learning.”

He added: “Our education team has worked hard to provide Bermuda’s children with a fabulous experience at Spittal Pond this Thursday.

 “The 1.5 mile walk will have 8 points where resident experts are eager to share their knowledge with the children. This year’s experts include members of the Audubon Society; Dr David Wingate, Eric and Janice Hetzel and Jennifer Gray who will be bringing their telescopes and are ready to tell everything you want to know about the resident and migratory birds in Bermuda.”

The BNT’s Director of Education Dr Dörte Horsfield will be providing a short introduction to one of Bermuda’s largest and most important nature reserves, Dr Jamie Bacon will be explaining interesting facts about the pond and its biology and Dr Alex Amat will introduce children to water chemistry. Ronnie Chameau will tell the story of the runaway slave Jeffrey at Jeffrey’s Cave, BNT Conservation Officer Lawrence Doughty will explain the geology of the Checkerboard formation and Rui Desa from Bermuda College will bring the story of Portuguese Rock and the early sailors to life.

Bermuda Government Agricultural Officer Tommy Sinclair will be located by the dairy farm and will talk about cows and dairy farming in Bermuda.

Although no one will be turned away, the BNT encourages participants to register in advance. For more information visit our website www.bnt.bm or e-mail Dorte Horsfield at dhorsfield@bnt.bm

 

-ends-

 

Media Inquiries: Bill Zuill at 236-6483, 535-7477 or wzuill@bnt.bm

 

  Children's Nature Walk 2019 Press Release.doc 

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