BNT Lose Appeal On Walsingham Reserve Gates

February 6, 2017 | 7 Comments

Walsingham Nature Reserve Bermuda February 2017The Walsingham Trust and the Bermuda National Trust have lost their joint appeal against the Development Applications Board’s decision to allow the erection of gates at either end of the right of way to the Walsingham Reserve, the BNT said.

Bermuda National Trust Executive Director Bill Zuill said, “The Walsingham Trust and the Bermuda National Trust were informed on January 26, 2017 by the Ministry of the Environment that we have lost our joint appeal against the Development Applications Board’s decision to allow the erection of gates at either end of our right of way to the Walsingham Reserve [commonly known as ‘Tom Moore’s Jungle’].

“The Planning Inspector’s report on the appeal, which was accepted by Minister of the Environment Cole Simons, made it clear that the DAB and the Planning Department could only rule on planning questions, and not on the legal question of what rights the Walsingham Trust had to allow the public to use its right of way.

“The Walsingham Trust is reviewing its position with regard to the legal issue. Both organisations had hoped that the Minister would have considered exercising his discretion in favour of the retention of free and open access to the Reserve, a position that we believe is in the public interest.

“This right of way – the Walsingham Trust’s only legal access to the Reserve – has been made available to the public for 75 years, since the inception of the Trust in 1942.

“The application to install the gates was made by Mr Bruno Fiocca, who seeks to improve the security of the Walsingham House property; more commonly known as Tom Moore’s Tavern.

“The right of way in question crosses Mr Fiocca’s property immediately beside the Tavern and has led to unauthorised public parking on his land.

“Whilst the appellants objected to the erection of gates, we wish to acknowledge his long-term support of access to the Reserve and his tolerance of the public use of his land for parking. The Walsingham Trust and Mr Fiocca have enjoyed a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship for many years.

“Mr Fiocca has indicated a willingness to leave these gates open during the day. However, we must emphasise that any decision to allow public parking at this location is entirely at Mr Fiocca’s discretion and there is no guarantee that this will be the case in the future, in particular if the Tom Moore’s Tavern property changes ownership.

“The Walsingham Trust encourages visitors to the Reserve to access it via the Blue Hole entrance, where there is parking available. However, the public must be aware that this park is managed by the Parks Department, who ultimately control this access to the Reserve.

“In addition the Trustees would like to note there has been increased use of the reserve in recent years and ask all visitors to respect the reserve regulations, which are now posted on signs at the entrances.

“This includes a ban on swimming in the ponds and cave pool, to protect the fragile flora and fauna that live in the water, which could be killed by the toxins in sun creams.

“The Walsingham Trust was joined by the Bermuda National Trust in its appeal because the BNT supports the principle of public access to open spaces because of concern that closure of the entrance would lead to heavier use of the neighbouring Idwal Hughes Reserve, which is home to many delicate and unique ferns.”

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Comments (7)

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  1. Truth says:

    While they may have had an amicable relationship for the last 75 years, things change. People are now more disrespectful of his land, disrespectful of his business, his parking lot. The guy has to take care of himself. He has even been broken into recently. The people using his land did this to themselves. Let him put up gates if this is what he now needs to do. It was good while it lasted – people ruined that.
    End of story.

  2. Lucky 7 says:

    So why his just doesn’t be honest about it and says is because it is for sale?

  3. property owner says:

    Can’t there be excess for pedestrians only and make a parking area somewhere furthur along road

  4. Maddog says:

    A shame, I went there as a child, and fed the fish off the dock…roaming around in the reserve was a great chidlhood experience. As an adult, I have taken my neice and nephews there – so much fun exploring. A few ruin it for the rest of us….our island is getting smaller and smaller…future generations will have no where to run free….there will be undesired consequences…just ask a poor caged bird….

  5. andre says:

    Won’t be dining or recommending there anymore.

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