Royal Gazette: National Trust says Cup Match Camping at nature reserve must not be allowed to happen again
An environmental charity has raised serious concerns over Government’s decision to grant access to a nature reserve for campers and their vehicles over the Cup Match holiday.
The reserve – Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve – is categorised as a Class A protected area under The National Parks Act 1986 and as such camping and vehicular traffic is not normally permitted within the site.
Karen Border, the executive director for the Bermuda National Trust, said: “The nature reserves have been given special protection for good reasons and it is imperative that those protections are upheld at all times.
“The Bermuda National Trust is very concerned that part of the Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve was open for camping over Cup Match. Camping is a high-impact, inappropriate use of such a space.
“Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve is one of the last preserves of the critically endangered Bermuda skink, some of the islands on which Cahows nest are just offshore of the beaches, and there are hundreds of longtails nesting along the shore of the reserve.
“Many local schoolchildren, community groups and corporate groups have given hundreds of hours of volunteer time to replant the nature reserve with native and endemic species – some of that vegetation has been trampled and damaged due to the camping activity.“