Island must preserve its natural woodland

  • Conservation expert: David Wingate

    Conservation expert: David Wingate

Dear Sir,

I have just read online two Royal Gazette Letters to the Editor appealing for the conservation of Bermuda’s tiny remaining reserves of natural woodland. Also a pertinent letter/article on the world environment and climate change, etc.

In the climate change piece, the Adani coalmine in North Queensland, Australia, is mentioned. Australia should be ashamed for giving approval to this project — although the country as a whole didn’t, of course.

Many here think it is a disgrace. Protesters will be travelling up there from the Byron Bay area this month. One further difficulty in their democratic protest will be this [Australian] government’s attempt to legislate to criminalise such protests. More dangerous symptoms, as many governments incline further to the right wing.

That said, I read the Wingate letter with deepening dismay. It is, as is customary with his pertinent letters to this newspaper, detailed, well-explained and lucid in its arguments and warnings.

Back in the early Seventies, as a young science teacher, I was part of a group introduced to the precious remnants of Bermuda’s natural environment. I remember being struck at the time, having come from England, by how little natural environment seemed even then to be remaining. But I will remember his informed enthusiasm as conservation officer.

We have Surinam cherry and lantana here, but I learnt about them from David Wingate. [And the children of Purvis Primary School: “Morris! Cherries, they’re tasty, you know!”]

I’m certain the dedicated labours of David Wingate and others must have contributed to such patches of woodland as do remain.

I am well aware of the problems and pressures humankind places on their environment for a host of reasons. But I heartily concur with Dr Wingate’s arguments in this newspaper. I shudder every day at the horrors now being inflicted by inappropriate developments [and overtourism] on the town I have inhabited for three decades. I now refer to Byron Bay as one of the “greed hubs” of Australia.

Much is approved and driven by money interests, which have the approving ear of governments, local, state and federal. I see similar happening everywhere I have lived and worked: England, the Solomon Islands and here in Australia, of course.

I recently read an interesting letter in The Royal Gazette about Bermuda and its view on future viability as a place to be visited, etc. The letter was sent from Brighton, England, where the correspondent lived. I recall he emphasised the need to maintain Bermuda’s essential differences.

I’m certain that not turning the whole place into a mass of pretty pastel cottages [and office blocks — I know capitalism loves building things!] laced with gardens in the interstices [and the odd green of a golf course] is the way to preserve that. It is, I believe, imperative for the reasons Dr Wingate supplies, that these supposedly protected fragments of natural environment in Bermuda are conserved into the uncertain future.


Byron Bay,

New South Wales,


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Published Dec 27, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 26, 2019 at 10:17 pm)

Island must preserve its natural woodland

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