Reclamation work begins at Shelly Bay reserve
A pond filled in almost eight decades ago is to be reborn as a nature reserve.
Excavators have moved in to the site of Eve's Pond, at Shelly Bay in Hamilton Parish, as a first step towards the recreation of the pond and a three-and-a-half acre reserve by Buy Back Bermuda.
Jennifer Gray, the chairwoman of Buy Back Bermuda, said the excavation might look “unsightly initially” — but promised to end with a beautiful open space.
The project by Buy Back Bermuda, a joint venture between the Bermuda Audubon Society and the Bermuda National Trust, started last Friday.
The site of the old saltwater pond, filled in 1941, was bought in 2012 by Buy Back Bermuda to be turned into a sanctuary for wildlife and public use.
The pond used to rise and fall with the tide through a marine cave system that emerged in Harrington Sound.
It will be restored as a shallow brackish pond for migrating and wetland birds, but will not be connected back to the caves to protect rare animal life underground. Excavated material from the old pond site will be used to create a roadside barrier to shelter the reserve from wind and traffic noise.
The Eve's Pond conservation management plan also includes walking trails around the edge of the pond and up into a woodland hillside.
Phase two of the project will include a bird hide so wildlife can be observed at close quarters.
The purchase and restoration of Eve's Pond was made possible through a fundraising drive among the public led by the late David Saul, a former premier and businessman.
Buy Back Bermuda said it planned to invite business and individual donors to enjoy the new park this summer.