Trust manager vows to fight ATV tours
The trustees of a sprawling West End beauty spot yesterday slammed plans to bring quad bike tours to the Railway Trail.
Kim Sheen, a real estate agent who manages the Heydon Trust in Somerset, said: “Absolutely not.”
The proposal, now open for the public's feedback at the Department of Parks, would bring all-terrain vehicles on to protected land so visitors can enjoy the West End.
The plan was given provisional approval by the former One Bermuda Alliance government, although rules on off-road motorised vehicles would need to be rewritten to allow the tours to go ahead.
The Heydon property includes one of the island's biggest parks, including a bird sanctuary and a 400-year-old chapel.
When the ATV proposal went out to the public for review last month, Ms Sheen said she “couldn't understand how they would even mention Heydon without getting our permission first”.
Like many West End residents, she was “taken by surprise”, an unease compounded by rumours that the vehicles have already been brought to the island.
The proposed route would cut across the 44-acre private park through a service entrance, on its way from Beacon Hill to Hog Bay.
But Ms Sheen said she would bar the way with gates to keep the vehicles off the Heydon trails.
She added: “Even if I weren't a manager of the Heydon Trust, I'd feel this way. I walk these trails all the time.
“I owned an ATV when I lived in Rhode Island. I know what they are.
“They're great, but they're not something you can use where people are walking their dogs, riding bikes or just enjoying a walk.”
Ms Sheen said: “It's not conducive for that property or for the West. I get the idea, but why not let them ride through Dockyard? Why not try Cooper's Island?”
The ATV plan, criticised by area residents, farmers and environmentalists, is open to public submissions until November 14.
Ms Sheen said the Trust would make a submission on its views.
But she added: “If I have to build a wall, that's what I will do.”