News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda – A major restoration project is now underway “to provide a new community space in Hamilton Parish”.

It is all as a result of public donations to Buy Back Bermuda back in 2012, in “a joint initiative” with the Bermuda Audubon Society and the Bermuda National Trust.

As a result, the group purchased 3.5 acres of land along the Shelly Bay stretch “to restore the land as a nature reserve and open it to the public”.

A spokesperson said: “Eve’s Pond has become the site of a major restoration project to provide a new community space in Hamilton Parish.

“Hidden beneath large casuarina trees, bushes, grass, soil and layers of sand lies the remnants of Eve’s Pond, a saltwater pond that used to rise and fall with the tide through a cave system emerging in Harrington Sound.

“In 1941 the pond was filled with sand dredged from Flatts Inlet. The Buy Back Bermuda initiative will reinstate the pond as a sanctuary for wildlife and public enjoyment.

“Buy Back Bermuda conducted extensive research on the cave system underneath Eve’s Pond to ensure the restoration project would not cause damage to the sensitive underground habitat.

“Below this site are caverns and cave connections leading to the longest cave ever mapped in Bermuda. A team of international specialists and their state-of-the-art equipment were able to map the voids under the surface so that the sub surface terrain was well understood.”

It was also noted that “some of the rarest fauna on earth live in Bermuda’s marine cave systems and to ensure their protection, Eve’s Pond will be restored without reconnecting to the cave system below”.

“Instead, it will be a shallow brackish pond suitable for migrating and wetland birds,” the spokesperson said.

“Contracting firm Island Construction moved on to the site with heavy equipment on Friday (March 6) to begin implementing the approved Conservation Management Plan.”

Jennifer Gray, Chair of Buy Back Bermuda said: “While the excavation phase of restoration may look unsightly initially, with the necessary clearing of abundant invasive species and relocation of sand from the old pond site, Buy Back Bermuda promises a beautiful open space when the project is completed.

The spokesperson added: “Excavated material from the old pond site will be used to create a roadside berm to protect the reserve from prevailing winds and traffic noise. Once native and endemic species have taken hold in their new environment, the wildlife is expected to follow in this new safe habitat.

“The Eve’s Pond Conservation Management Plan includes walking trails that meander around the edge of the pond and up into a woodland hillside. Trail markers and information graphics will enhance the visitor experience. Phase two of the project will include a bird hide for observing wildlife at close quarters, and other nature reserve amenities.

“The purchase and restoration of Eve’s Pond was made possible by a successful public fundraising drive led by Dr David Saul. Buy Back Bermuda looks forward to inviting corporate and individual donors to enjoy the new public amenity this summer.

“To support Buy Back’s ongoing work to save Bermuda’s few remaining open spaces for the benefit of people and wildlife, please send donations to Buy Back Bermuda c/o the Bermuda Audubon Society or the Bermuda National Trust [].”