The Vesey Nature reserve (located just off Middle Road in Southampton) is one of the newer additions to Bermuda’s protected green spaces. In 2009, Bermudian Sharon Vesey donated the land that now makes up the Vesey Nature Reserve to The Bermuda National Trust and The Bermuda Audubon Society. Her wish was to prevent more of Bermuda’s precious natural habitats from being developed. This commitment to protecting Bermuda’s ecosystems means this green space will be preserved and enjoyed by many generations to come.
View across the harbor from one of main viewpoints in the reserve. Photo courtesy of Bermuda Audubon Society
Vesey Nature Reserve was opened to the public on Earth Day, 22nd April 2013.
Along the winding trails, through swathes of native and endemic flora and fauna, you’ll find secluded benches where you can pause and have a moment of reflection. A wide variety of ecosystems are there to discover, including a rocky shoreline, coastal scrubland, and forests. The reserve stretches all the way from Middle Road to the Little Sound.
Aerial view of the Vesey Reserve.
At the heart of the reserve is an important tidal pond fringed by lush dense mangroves and populated by herons dubbed ‘Evan’s Pond’. It is home to the native Mullet, a fish which attracts stunning predatory birds such as osprey. It also supports populations of toads and killifish, which are integral to the biodiversity of our ecosystems. The saltwater that makes this pond so unique is fed in from the Little Sound connected by a dramatic drowned cave system.
By removing introduced spice trees from this woodland valley and planting native alternatives, the park’s flora is slowly being restored to reflect what Bermuda’s long-forgotten forests and valleys would once have looked like.
Photo courtesy of Bermuda National Trust
You may come across a limestone sinkhole. Created when the roof of an underground cave collapsed, the sinkhole’s exposed sides are now the home of many happy ferns such as the endemic Bermuda Maidenhair Fern. This is thanks to the lower temperature and higher humidity inside the caves.
Quarries in the reserve. Photo courtesy of megsouthern.wordpress.com
Towards the south is a stunning abandoned quarry on Skroggins Hill. The vertical rock faces rise some 30 feet above the existing ground level. The chisel and saw marks made by stone cutters decades ago are still visible and transport one back to simpler times. There is also evidence of coastal quarries from which ‘wharf block’ would have been acquired.
You can find the Vesey Nature Reserve on Middle Road, Southampton between Evans Bay Road and Rockaway.