Welcome to the November newsletter of the St Helena National Trust.
This has been a busy and exciting phase for the Trust. As the new Director I am enjoying getting to grips with working on St Helena. This is truly an extraordinary place with a natural and historic environment to be proud of.
The first phase of the new Heritage Training project has now finished. Ben Jeffs with his team of skilled craftsmen have trained over 50 people in traditional skills such as stonemasonry, lime rendering and cobbling. Reviving these skills is vital if we are to restore and maintain our historic buildings – without which the island will lose the economic opportunities of a tourism-based future.
In the natural environment, we are making good progress with conservation of the endemic Gumwoods, both at Peak Dale and in our Millennium Forest. A new nursery and visitor centre at the Forest will take shape in 2010. We have now appointed a contractor to build a footpath to Heart Shape Waterfall, one of the island’s most beautiful but inaccessible attractions. Restoration of Wirebird habitats is also continuing.
It is exciting to announce that in recent weeks we have submitted large funding bids for three projects that will make a significant contribution to conserving St Helena’s natural environment – everything from restoring large areas of native habitat to increasing Wirebird numbers. Importantly they will also train up large numbers of local people.
Finally I would like to apologise for the lack of news from the Trust in recent months. As you may know there was a long period when the Trust had no full-time Director. We are still catching up but I hope you will agree that we are making good progress. The Trust needs your support more than ever at this positive time of growth.
With very best wishes