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Important Bird Area Protected by the Nature Trust
April 21st, 2011
In honour of Earth Day (April 22), the Nova Scotia Nature Trust announced protection of yet another unique piece of Nova Scotia’s coastal legacy.
Halifax, April 21, 2011 – In honour of Earth Day (April 22), the Nova Scotia Nature Trust announced protection of yet another unique piece of Nova Scotia’s coastal legacy. The 120 acre south shore property provides an important refuge for wildlife, including essential habitat for migratory birds.
The Purgatory Point Conservation Lands are located on the Blanche Peninsula, in the Municipality of Barrington. The property boasts a diversity of ecosystems, from bogs and beach, to mixed hardwood and softwood forest, including breeding ground for otters and ospreys.
According to the Dennis Garratt, the Nature Trust’s Conservation Manager, the site is especially significant for birds. “The land is located along the Atlantic Flyway, the migratory ‘highway in the sky’ for birds, and serves as an essential stopover area for migratory birds such as shorebirds and songbirds, and wintering grounds for waterfowl.” The site’s significance for birds is reflected in its designation as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.
The land is protected under a conservation easement, a creative conservation tool that gives the landowners, Bruce Blakemore and Hugh Jones, the assurance that their coastal lands are protected, and will remain protected long after they are gone. Yet the easement also allows them to continue to use and enjoy their coastal haven, and even pass it along through the generations or sell the property. The easement, however, lasts forever.
Bruce Blakemore, owner of the property is thrilled that her wishes for their little piece of paradise have come true. “We are so pleased that the Nature Trust is here to help landowners like us to protect and preserve Nova Scotia’s natural legacy”. Hugh and Bruce have lived on the Blanche peninsula for forty years. They purchased Purgatory Point in 1980 and moved there in 1993. Their love of nature and strong sense of stewardship for the property led them to seek protection for it.
“With so much of our coast in private ownership, individual landowners, like Bruce and Hugh, have an incredibly important role in determining the future of our coast” Dennis noted. Income and property tax incentives are now available to encourage landowners to take action to protect ecologically important land in Nova Scotia.
Dennis encourages all Nova Scotians to take action to protect Nova Scotia’s natural legacy this Earth Day. “People can make a donation, volunteer, or even give a “Gift of Nature” for Earth Day.” Where over 70% of Nova Scotia is in private ownership, and those private lands face increasing development pressure, land conservation is critical to protect the places Nova Scotians love.
More information on this conservation success and on how Nova Scotians can take action to protect nature is available at www.nsnt.ca
Purgatory Point is the 42nd property protected by the Nature Trust and the first in Shelburne County, adding to its 5600 acre conservation lands network.