The National Trust has cancelled a planned Earth Day hike along Bullrush Walk and the Chisholm Trail in North Side.
The cancellation is out of respect to landowners along the way, said Trust general manager Frank Roulstone.
‘We feel we would have been within our rights to walk along what is registered public access,’ Mr. Roulstone said. ‘However, we would rather cancel the hike and maintain good relations with the community instead of becoming involved in a conflict.’
He pointed out that members of the National Trust Council are sensitive to the perceptions some people in the community have about the Trust.
‘It would not be prudent to become embroiled in a controversy while we are working to restore our credibility and our relations with the public,’ Mr. Roulstone pointed out.
He said the Trust would try to work with the landowners so that they would fully appreciate what the Trust is trying to achieve – exposing people to aspects of their heritage and history. There is absolutely no wish to desecrate anybody’s old homesite, he emphasised.
‘I recognise that starting a conflict with the landowners is not going to help our cause,’ Mr. Roulstone summarised.
There are several other activities planned for Earth Day, observed this year on Saturday, 22 April.
The National Trust has organised a walk along the Mastic Trail in the morning and a mangrove boat tour in the afternoon. On Sunday a plant identification walk is scheduled.
There are numerous other activities scheduled throughout Earth Week.