Plan to turn nature reserve into endemic plant stronghold
The Bermuda National Trust wants to make a Warwick nature reserve a stronghold for native and endemic species, according to a Conservation Management Plan.
The voluntary plan, submitted to the Department of Planning this week, is intended to set out a long-term plan to cull invasive species from the Sherwin Nature Reserve, which is located off Middle Road and replace them with native plants.
“It is worth noting that steps have already been taken to increase the number of desirable plants, with juvenile palmetto, cedars and olivewoods having been planted near the parking area and a small ornamental display in the southern woodland,” the plan states.
“In addition, the walking trail should be better maintained in areas and the old boundary walls, due to their historic value, should be maintained or restored.”
The application highlights that the property, which has been owned by the BNT since 1987, is home to the island’s largest brackish/freshwater pond.
The 10-acre plot is zoned woodland reserve, although a portion of the property is used for agriculture.
The plan states the predominant species in the area is allspice, although there is also an abundance of Mexican pepper, Chinese fan palms, fiddlewood, Indian laurel and cow cane.
The CMP said the first phase of the project would be the removal and clearance of invasive species, followed by the thinning and developmental pruning of the plants that are retained.
The BNT would then plant endemic and native tree and shrub spies to develop a new tree canopy.
The charity would then focus on maintaining walking trails in the reserve and re-establish three dry stone boundary walls on the property.
“It is recommended that the phasing specifications be undertaken to minimise damage to existing tree species to be retained and to maximise the potential for the growth of more biodiverse planting suitable for upland hillside and wetland habitats,” the plan states.
“It is intended to maintain a portion of the existing vegetation to provide windbreak and protection to aid in the establishment of the new plantings.”