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Calls for clean-up of ‘national gem’

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A former MP and Mayor of St George called yesterday for a clean-up at the nature reserve on Cooper's Island.

Kenneth Bascome warned the “national gem” was in a poor state and that more could be done to make the most out of the reserve.

He said: “This is a nature reserve, but the only access to anything is on asphalt. That's the opposite of natural.

“This entire area could be better kept and more people would actually use it.”

The Cooper's Island reserve in St David's was once a Nasa tracking station and monitored space flights from 1961 to 1997.

But improvements in technology led Nasa to close the site in 2001 and the property was opened as a nature reserve in 2008.

Work was carried out to clean the area and remove invasive species but Mr Bascome said the reserve had become overgrown.

He added: “There are lot of cedar trees there — a hundred of them, but everything around them is overgrown. Eventually, all these vines will overpower them.

“You can just manicure it, keep these areas up. Every time I come out here, I wonder why we have allowed this to fall into disrepair.”

Mr Bascome said a major clear-up would encourage more people to take advantage of the park.

He added the reserve also had several “beautiful” beaches but the condition of the area meant they were little used.

Mr Bascome said: “I think if this area was cleaned up a bit, you would see a lot more people coming to utilise it.

“That would also help to alleviate the strain on Clearwater because if you come here on a national holiday, that beach is bustling.”

“It would also help to encourage people to keep it clean. I believe people would be less likely to throw their litter if it wasn't so overgrown. If you clean it up, people would be more responsible.”

The Department of Parks did not respond to a request for comment.

Warning signs: there are concerns that Cooper's Island Nature Reserve is becoming overgrown and falling into disrepair (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Kenneth Bascome oversees what he considers to be the deterioration of “a national gem” (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published January 23, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated January 23, 2018 at 7:53 am)

Calls for clean-up of ‘national gem’

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