In November 2017, the Ministry of Public Works invited public comment on the proposal to permit All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) tours in the West End: along the Western railway trail and into Scaur Hill and Hog Bay Parks.  More than 600 people expressed their objection, while only 2 people expressed support for the scheme.

Opposition by a number of local groups, representing an even greater number of individuals, has resulted in the formation of a coalition with the name of Protect Our Parks.  Those groups are:

  • Bermuda Audubon Society
  • Bermuda Botanical Society
  • Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce (BEST)
  • Bermuda National Trust
  • Farmers’ Association
  • Greenrock
  • The Garden Club of Bermuda, and
  • The Heydon Trust

Technical officers of the Parks Department have also expressed opposition in light of the extra burden that will be put on them to monitor adherence to the rules of conduct of the tour participants and to rectify environmental damage that will unquestionably be caused by these vehicles.

Most recently, over 200 signatures were collected on the Petition at the start of the Bermuda National Trust’s Palm Sunday Walk.

While innovative ideas for tourism are to be encouraged, those schemes must not result in an erosion of the quality of life for Bermuda’s residents by further limiting access to open space away from heavily-trafficked roadways. Our railway trails and parks are for the peaceful enjoyment of all residents and we encourage your signature as an expression of support for our right to a voice in the protection of those amenities.

Finally, while we continue to investigate whether all of the required permissions have in fact been secured for the operation, and whether it is lawful, we are asking anyone who hasn’t already objected to the ATV tour proposal to sign a petition sheet, which is available at the following locations:

The J&J Produce stand at Melville Estate, Devonshire

Amaral’s Farm stand on Middle Road, Devonshire

Windy Bank Farm in Smith’s

Tom Wadson’s Home Farm Market in Southampton