Nature is probably the biggest treasure of Bermuda and it is important for all its residents to keep it safe and to protect it. That is one of the reasons why there are so many nature reserves on the island, each of them offering a place for birds and animals to live and great walks for nature lovers.
Every parish has its nature reserves, and in the parish of Hamilton is the Walsingham Nature Reserve. This park is formed by the Tom Moore’s Jungle and the Idwal Hughes Nature Reserve.
The Idwal Hughes Nature Reserve is the part of the park owned and managed by the Bermuda National Trust. Covering a tract of land of 1.25 acres, it is a wonderful woodland and the wildest part of the Walsingham Nature Reserve. There, you will mainly find Bermuda cedar trees, as well as indigenous palmetto trees forming a lush forest.
One particularity of the Idwal Hughes Nature Reserve is the extensive cave system that runs through the woodland. These unique geological formations combined to the forest make the reserve a great place to explore for the adventurous ones. Those who like walking will find doing it here a bit more interesting and challenging than in many of the island’s nature reserves. But everyone, except wheelchair users, can enjoy a walk in Idwal Hughes Nature Reserve and will be rewarded of their efforts by the beauty of nature itself. The Idwal Hughes Nature Reserve is named after a Welsh architect who came to Bermuda and was a senior civil servant here before becoming Public Works Director. The reserve can be accessed from the road of the Walsingham Nature Reserve that leads to Tom Moore’s Tavern and that is off Harrington Sound Road, in Hamilton Parish. Bus routes number 1 and 3 can take you there but of course – a scooter is the best way to travel to it!
The Idwal Hughes Nature Reserve is free of admission and opened from dawn till dusk.
The other part of the Walsingham Nature Reserve, the bigger one, is the Tom Moore’s Jungle. In fact, the whole of the reserve is often called Tom Moore’s Jungle. The Tom Moore’s Tavern is at the centre of the reserve, surrounded by Bermuda cherry tree forests, mangroves and crystalline caves.The place was named after the Irish poet who spent a few months in Bermuda in 1844 as an Admiralty court official register and wrote many of his verses under a calabash tree that was made famous in one of his poems. He also used to frequent a tavern, the same one that is now called Tom Moore’s Tavern.
Covering a total of 12 acres, the reserve is characterised by a rugged limestone landscape. In fact, it is located on the oldest geological formation of Bermuda. It is a very wild and natural place, rich in habitats such as sinkholes, caves, mangroves, marine ponds, woodlands and coastlines. Therefore, it is a great place for those who love nature as they can discover many rare and endangered species of plants and animals native and endemic to the island.
The many swimming grottoes of the reserve are often the highlight of the visit, with fish that can be seen in the turquoise water. The shallow bays and mangroves offer hours of exploration to fans of snorkelling, while bird-watchers will try to spot herons, cardinals, doves and finches.
Idwal Hughes Nature Reserve
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Idwal Hughes Nature Reserve – Part of Elbow Beach Cycles’ Things To Do in Bermuda series!