Minister Roban Tours Riddell's Bay Conservation Area
The Minister of Home Affairs, the Hon. Walter Roban, JP, MP recently visited the Riddell's Bay nature reserve and recreation area.
Last year, the Riddell’s Bay (Warwick Parish) Special Development Order (SDO) 2020 established one of the largest privately held, publicly accessible conservation areas in Bermuda. A significant component of the SDO is the provision of public access to 64 acres of conservation land.
The SDO conditions include the provisions to create 18 vacant residential lots totalling 23 acres approximately 25% of the property, intended to each accommodate one detached house; develop four conservation areas totalling 64 acres an estimate 75% of the property and comprised of a nature reserve area totalling 18 acres an open space area totalling 14 acres; a recreation area totalling 19 acres and open space area totalling 13 acres as well as, the development of an internal system of roadways and associated parking areas, a network of footpaths and private and communal outdoor areas and landscaped grounds.
Minister Roban, Senator Lindsay Simmons, and MP Jason Wade toured the development last week.
Minister Roban said, "A great deal of hard work has gone into creating the new conservation areas for the public to enjoy. Conservation work currently underway includes eradicating invasive species (i.e. Mexican Pepper) and other non-native spaces such as Casuarina and the new plantings of various endemic and native trees. What was notable were the numerous Cedar trees on the property, which before culling works began, were previously overtaken by Mexican pepper. The significant landscaping improvements have enhanced the habitat for birdlife.
“We are pleased to see that many local landscaping companies have been employed to do all the work on-site including constructing a vast network of walking trails and the restoration of ponds.
“Sustainable construction practices are being employed on-site. For example, old asphalt from previous golf cart paths has been removed, ground-up and reused as fill for the eastern road. Large Casuarina trunks have been transformed into benches, smaller Casuarina trunks and other invasives are mulched and reused in pedestrian pathways and garden areas.
“The Riddell's Bay development is an example of how developers, environmental groups and government can work together to achieve the right balance to protect our environment and create open spaces for our residents to enjoy.”