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 

For Rent: Devonshire Marsh Pond House East Field

For Rent: 0.5 acres of arable land Devonshire Marsh Pond House East Field

The Bermuda National Trust is offering a rare opportunity for personal or small-scale commercial farming in Devonshire parish.  The land comprises of a single field suitable for agricultural uses. Preference will be given to organic practices.

Viewing is required. Before submitting a bid, you are expected to visit the site to satisfy yourself of the condition of the land and its surroundings.

If necessary: “Site preparation is required and will be taken into account when reviewing proposals.”

Rent: $500.00 —Available: Immediately  

Please return the completed Bid form to the National Trust offices at Waterville, 2 Pomander Road, Paget, or email them to Myles Darrell at myles@bnt.bm by September 6th  2019

Click below for Bid Form

Devonshire Marsh East Field Bid Form

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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

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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 

International Conference of National Trusts 2019

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Arms Wide Open: Strategies for Engaging with Diverse Communities

Local residents encouraged to register for international conservation conference

 

February 19, 2019 - A major international conference taking place in Bermuda next month will feature Bermudians among its speakers and panelists. The Island was chosen as the conference venue as the result of a successful bid by the Bermuda National Trust (BNT), which also celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

 

This major biennial conference (March 27-30) will bring an estimated 100 individuals to Bermuda, from conservation organisations in 37 countries in Africa, Asia Pacific, the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe.

 

It is the group’s 18th conference and was last staged in Bermuda 30 years ago. In addition, the fourth Caribbean Conference of National Trusts will take place at the same time to enable national trusts in the region to discuss their specific issues.

 

Bermudian speakers and panelists will include Bermuda’s first female Premier, Dame Pamela Gordon Banks, former Executive Director of the Bermuda National Trust Jennifer Gray, former Executive Director of the Bermuda National Museum of Dr Edward Harris, Bermuda National Trust President Alana Anderson and Keep Bermuda Beautiful Executive Director Ann Hyde.

 

Local conservation organisations have also been invited to attend the event. “We have contacted our sister environmental and heritage organisations and hope they and other private individuals will take this opportunity to enjoy the knowledgeable participants,” said a spokesman for the BNT.

 

“Understanding that not everyone can commit the time for the full conference, we’re offering a number of packages to make it manageable for our Bermuda colleagues. Full conference attendance including evening activities is $800; full conference daytime activities only is $500; and the daily rate is $175.”

 

The CV Zuill Scholarship Trust will accept applications from local non-profit representatives who would like help with funding their conference attendance. Applications can be made at  http://www.cvzuillaward.org/

 

Several corporate sponsors have also given their support to the conference. They are Butterfield Bank, Chubb, Fidelity and OIL. In addition, conference partners include the National Museum of Bermuda and the St George’s Foundation, Bermuda Tourism Authority and the One World airline alliance.   The Conference hotel is the Fairmont Southampton Resort.

 

The conference theme is diversity and inclusion and is entitled “Arms Wide Open – Strategies for Engaging with Diverse Communities”. Sessions will take place at the Fairmont Southampton Resort with sessions to be held off site including at the National Museum of Bermuda in the Royal Naval Dockyard and St George’s World Heritage Centre.

 

In addition to plenary sessions, five tracks have been set up for breakout sessions. These tracks are the environment, built heritage, diversity and inclusion, education and engagement and capacity building.

 

International speakers include:

    • Her Royal Highness Princess Dana Firas of Jordan, the President of the Petra National Trust
    • Dame Fiona Reynolds, President of the International National Trusts Organisation and former Director General of The National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland
    • British curator, historian and filmmaker Gus Casely-Hayford, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC
    • David Bond, award-winning director, producer and writer of documentary, commercial and short film projects and director of Project Wild Thing, a film about connecting children with nature
    • John Orna-Ornstein, the Director of Culture and Engagement for the National Trust of England Wales and Northern Ireland – the world’s largest National Trust.
    • David J. Brown, Executive Vice President and Chief Preservation Officer with the National Trust for Historic Preservation
    • Author and environmental advocate Marquetta Goodwine, known as Queen Quet after being elected Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
    • Gail Lord, president and co-founder of Lord Cultural Resources, formed in 1981 to address a need for planning services in the museum, cultural and heritage sector

 

All questions to Bill Zuill, Executive Director at wzuill@bnt.bm or call 236-6483

To register for the conference, please go to https://into-icnt.org/

To see the programme in more detail, please go to  Arms Wide Open Programme.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Conference of National Trusts 2019

Arms Wide Open: Strategies for Engaging with Diverse Communities

Bermuda chosen to host major conservation conference

December 18, 2018 - A successful bid by the Bermuda National Trust has resulted in Bermuda being chosen as the venue for a major conservation conference next year. The International Conference of National Trusts 2019 is expected to include 150 representatives of conservation organisations from around the world.

It is the group’s 18th conference and was last staged in Bermuda 30 years ago. In addition, the fourth Caribbean Conference of National Trusts will take place at the same time to enable national trusts in the region to discuss their specific issues. 

The conference takes place from March 27-30, 2019 and will take place in St. George’s, Dockyard and at the Fairmont Southampton Resort.

“We are delighted to have been selected as the venue for the conference,” said Alana Anderson, President of the Bermuda National Trust. “It’s particularly meaningful for us as 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the formation of our Trust.

“In addition, it’s a boost for Bermuda – not just the fact that the conference will bring visitors to our island in March, but because it attests to the fact that we are recognised as an island with a strong history of conservation and respect for our environment. We look forward to showing our visitors what Bermuda has to offer and how we have taken care and improved upon the natural beauty of the island. It will provide a valuable opportunity for us to learn from our peer organisations around the world.” 

Bill Zuill, Executive Director of the Bermuda National Trust, said the conference will be focused on diversity and inclusion “a topic of relevance to national trusts everywhere; only with the engagement of our communities can we succeeded in our conservation mission and ensure that natural and man-made heritage is preserved ‘for everyone, forever’.” 

The conference, titled “Arms Wide Open – Strategies for Engaging with Diverse Communities”, will be based at the Fairmont Southampton Resort with sessions to be held off site including at the Dockyard and St George’s World Heritage Site. 

“We have a great deal to discuss, but we want to showcase Bermuda as much as possible,” said Bill Zuill. “By locating the workshops and discussions outside the hotel, we will ensure our visitors get the a full Bermuda experience without compromising all the work we need to do.”

So far, delegates to the conference are signed up from 32 countries - Aruba, Australia, Bermuda, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, France, Fiji, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, St Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Sri Lanka, St Helena, Tanzania, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Virgin Islands, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe.

Bermuda residents who wish to take part in the conference can also do so in one of two ways. They can sign up for a full delegates’ pass which includes evening entertainment for $800, or they can sign up for a Bermuda delegates’ pass, which entitles them to attend all daytime events, for $500.  Residents can register for the conference at https://into-icnt.org/

Panel discussions and workshops will be led by experts in their field from around the world, with strong representation from Bermuda. Plenary speakers confirmed so far include:

  • British curator, historian and filmmaker Gus Casely-Hayford, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC since February, 2018. Awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, he is one of the world’s foremost authorities on African art, and the creator of the BBC TV series The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Dr Casely-Hayford is a former Executive Director of Arts Strategy, Arts Council England, and advisor to the United Nations and the Canadian, Dutch and Norwegian Arts Councils and the Tate Gallery.
  • Marquetta Goodwine became Queen Quet after being elected Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. A native of St Helena Island, South Carolina, she is an author, preservationist and performance artist. In 2008, she recorded the story of the Gullah/Geechee at UNESCO headquarters in Paris for the UN archives. Her activism began with securing land rights for the Gullah/Geechee people, who often passed land down through the generations without any legal documentation to prove ownership. In 1996, she founded the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition to support the continuation of Gullah/Geechee culture.
  • Gail Lord is president and co-founder of Lord Cultural Resources, formed in 1981 to address a need for planning services in the museum, cultural and heritage sector. The company has completed more than 2,200 projects in over 57 countries. Focused on creating value from “the maximisation of cultural resources”, the company has offices in New York, London, Mumbai, Beijing and Toronto, and clients in the public, private, foundation, government and nonprofit sectors.

Media Inquiries: Bill Zuill, Executive Director, Bermuda National Trust 

wzuill@bnt.bm  236-6483 ext 223

 

 

 

2018 BNT Raffle

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Designed for sustainability, agility, acceleration and exceptional driving pleasure.

The i3’s 110 V chargeable battery has a driving range of around 120 miles
making it the perfect vehicle for day-to-day use in Bermuda.

Save on fuel and help the environment while you drive in style!

Tickets: $100 

Available at Waterville, 2 Pomander Road, Paget - 9:00am to 5:00pm from September 5

The draw will be held at FarmFest on October 27

Call 236 - 6483 or email palmetto@bnt.bm for additional information

DRAW: 3pm, 27 October, Devondale, 33 South Road, Devonshire 

 

Government Land Leases to Farmers

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July 24, 2018 - The Bermuda National Trust welcomes Public Works Minister David Burch’s decision to renew the lease of the Bascome family at Westover Farm, Sandys and of his intention to extend all lapsed agricultural leases of Government land to 21 years less one day.

The Trust believes that the preservation of arable land as open space, and the maintenance of working farms as a means of giving Bermuda a minimum level of food security, is vital for Bermuda’s long term sustainability.

Bermuda National Trust President Alana Anderson said: “We welcome the fact that not only will farmers see their leases renewed, but that they will be renewed for more than two decades. This means that these 13 vital open spaces will also be preserved for 20 years and will be available for the next generation of farmers.  

“We also urge the Ministry, as landlord, to encourage farmers to use best practices, and where possible, to introduce sustainable farming methods which will ensure that Bermuda’s arable land will be healthy and productive for many years to come.”

The Long Arc of Progress

One of former United States President Barack Obama’s guiding principles was this statement: “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

That statement, first made by an American abolitionist in the 1800s, popularised by the Reverend Martin Luther King, and then taken as an article of faith by Obama, tells us that even when progress seems impossibly slow, we should have faith and hope that better times are coming.

It is sometimes wrongly criticised for being overly passive — you may think there is no need to do anything because change will come naturally, or that because progress is so slow, there is no point in trying to accelerate it. In fact, its deeper meaning is that even if the road seems impossibly long with no end in sight, you must keep moving forward — change will come.

Fifty years ago this week, 19,123 adult Bermudians, 91 per cent of registered voters, cast ballots in the first General Election held in Bermuda under universal adult suffrage — the principle of one person one vote, that right given without regard to gender, race or, for the first time in Bermuda’s history, property ownership.

It had taken 348 years to reach that point — almost 3½ centuries had elapsed between the first meeting of the House of Assembly and the 1968 election.

You can see the history of that evolution in the Chubb Gallery for the next two weeks at The Road to Democracy, a Heritage Month exhibition organised by the Bermuda National Trust with assistance from the Bermuda Archives, the Bermuda Historical Society, the National Museum of Bermuda and the Bermuda National Gallery.

As you follow the display around, you may notice that gradually it moves from a predominance of things — drawings of buildings, maps, medals, furniture and documents — to a predominance of people.

Some of the “things” are extraordinary. They include the 1834 Emancipation Act, which “utterly and forever” abolished slavery in Bermuda, Abraham Lincoln’s signature, artefacts from the women’s suffrage movement and more.

But the latter part of the exhibition consisting mainly of people reminds us that it was people who made the change that came about in 1968. People were elected to the House of Assembly who argued for a wider franchise. People joined the Progressive Group and launched the Theatre Boycott, which inspired more people to form the Committee for Universal Adult Suffrage in 1960 and 1961. Seven years later, the 1968 election took place.

For many people today, the world of pre-1968 Bermuda is, to steal the words of the song, a different world. Most of us have no conception of a government chosen by a few people to rule over many, or a world of legalised segregation.

For some of our older residents, people such as E.F. Gordon, Eustace Cann and W.L. Tucker remain living, breathing human beings — people they knew and worked with. The purpose of the exhibition and of historians is to make sure that they remain alive to us. We need to understand how we are connected to them, and them to us.

So this week we pay tribute to Dame Lois Browne Evans, to Sir Henry Tucker and to Sir Edward Richards, and to those young men and women elected for the first time in 1968, determined to make a new and better world. People such as John Barritt Sr, Eugene Cox, Quinton Edness, Austin Thomas, Roosevelt Brown, whose CUAS accelerated the change, John Stubbs, L. Frederick Wade, Gloria McPhee, Reginald Burrows and more.

And we also credit the few who are still with us today — Bill Cox, Stanley Lowe, Stanley Morton, Walter Roberts and C.V. “Jim” Woolridge — who were honoured in the House of Assembly this week.

To be sure, these people had their differences, political and otherwise. But in 1968 they recognised an essential truth: that Bermuda had to change.

There was confrontation and violence before, during and after 1968, but far less than there could have been. This largely peaceful revolution happened because far-sighted people were able to sit down and find ways to settle their differences. No one got everything they wanted at the 1966 Constitutional Conference, and today in Parliament not everyone gets everything they want, either. But they find a way to move forward. That is the essence of democratic government.

Before 1968, a small group of people made the decisions for all. Afterwards, everyone had a say. For that reason, it was a watershed year — the Bermuda we know today would not exist were it not for the events of 1968.

To be sure, the system is not perfect. But the miracle of 1968, and the lesson of 1968, is that Bermudians have the tools to change and improve on the system and they have done so. It may not always be easy, but it can be done and people can have hope that they can bring about the change they desire through peaceful and democratic means. That could not be said before 1968.

To understand why this matters, we need to go back another quarter-century.

In 1944, the issue dividing the island was over whether women of property should have the vote.

Dr Cann, whose mission is life was to end the property vote, feared, like other black politicians, that giving women property owners the vote would entrench that system, not weaken it, and he had previously opposed female suffrage.

But in 1944, Dr Cann had a change of heart when, after countless rejections, the legislation came up once more.

He said: “I shall vote for the measure today because I hate to see any group enslaved by the power of others and refused their legitimate rights.

“I call on all Assemblymen to consider these matters that would grant to others the same privileges now proposed for the Suffrage Society.”

Dr Cann argued that just as gender should not determine a basic right, nor should race, which was the effect of the property vote.

He was exercising hope; hope that the moral arc of history would bend towards justice and that his act of support would bend people towards his point of view.

It would take another 24 years, and Dr Cann would have gone to a better place when it did, but in 1968, 50 years ago this week, he saw his dream fulfilled.

 

• Bill Zuill is the executive director of the Bermuda National Trust. The Road to Democracy is at the Chubb Gallery until June 1. Opening hours are 10am to 4pm

 

Wayne Jackson Tribute

The Bermuda National Trust has learned with sadness that its former President, Wayne Jackson, passed away last week and has offered condolences to his wife Juliette and her family.

Mr. Jackson was President of the Trust from 2002 to 2005, having previously served on the Trust Council and as Fundraising Chairman. He presided over the successful launch of Buy Back Bermuda in conjunction with the Audubon Society of Bermuda, the further expansion of the Trust’s portfolio of own open spaces and nature reserves and the recovery from the devastation caused by Hurricane Fabian in 2003.

During his tenure, the Trust also expanded its book publishing activities, continuing the publication of volumes of Bermuda’s Architectural Heritage, and releasing “Rogues and Runners” on Bermuda’s role in the American Civil War. The period 2002-2005 were also years in which the Trust’s fundraising efforts were highly successful, putting the organisation on a sound financial footing for the more difficult economic years after 2008.

After stepping down as President, Mr. Jackson remained an enthusiastic supporter of the Trust, and was a frequent attendee and participant in Trust events.

BNT president Alana Anderson said: “I remember Mr. Jackson fondly as someone who welcomed me into the National Trust family with open arms.

She added: “He was generous with his time and passionate about his vision for the Trust and how important it was to get involved. I am deeply saddened by his passing and on behalf of the Trust send sincere condolences to his family.” 

Hugh Davidson, who succeeded Mr. Jackson as President, added: “Wayne was a good and dedicated friend to the National Trust. He was especially proud of the small birdseye cedar coffee table made by his ancestor John Henry Jackson which was sent to London in 1851 to be shown at the Great Exhibition.

“The table now lives at Verdmont and I think of Wayne every time I see it.”

Mr Davidson added: “We will miss Wayne’s continuous support and enthusiasm for the Trust and are deeply saddened to lose a member of the Trust family.”

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