Dismayed by arson at nature reserve
I am sure your readers will be dismayed to learn that one of our best-maintained nature reserves, the Buy Back Bermuda reserve at Somerset Long Bay East, has been vandalised by arsonists. Not once but for a third time, severely damaging some of the mature native tree plantings as well as a plastic-coated, chain-link fence, which is very expensive to replace.
Our Buy Back Bermuda nature reserves — jointly owned by Bermuda National Trust and Bermuda Audubon Society — were purchased and are intensely managed at great expense with public donations, not only for the preservation of our native flora and fauna, but for everyone, including our tourists, to visit for their recreational enjoyment.
The persons who are doing this are not only destroying their own future options for employment and survival, but the economy of Bermuda as a whole. We are already so densely urbanised that the natural beauty and biodiversity of the island, and hence a significant part of our tourist economy, is gravely threatened. We can’t afford to let the last of our precious open spaces be destroyed by vandals.
In my career as a conservationist in Bermuda, I can hardly imagine anything that has dismayed me more.
DAVID B. WINGATE