The Purcell’s Cove Conservation Lands, administered by the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, encompass two parcels of land located off of Purcell’s Cove Road and extending to Flat Lake, approximately 1.2 kilometers inland:
- The Captain Arnell Conservation Lands (30 acreas), which were donated to NSNT by the Field brothers (Roger, Nigel, Kenneth, Peter, Robert, Chris, and Nicholas Field) in 2003;
- The Napier Family Conservation Lands (56.7 acreas) which were donated to NSNT by members of the Napier family (Agnes, Corinne, Mary, Murray & Paul Napier and Ben MacIntosh) in 2009.
These lands include unusually diverse wildlife habitats ranging from rugged granite coastal headlands, undeveloped shorelines contained within undisturbed watersheds, bogs, granite barrens, freshwater lakes and a developing hardwood forests.
In 2003, HFN donated funds towards the land survey and legal processing of the Capt. Arnell Lands and agreed to conduct a biological inventory of the property. The inventory is an ongoing process with field trips conducted to date on June 4 & July 2, 2006; Sept. 16 & 22, 2007; May 4, July 13 & October 12, 2008, and June 25, 2009. The survey is made along a hiking trail which traverses both the Capt. Arnell Conservation Lands and the Napier Family Conservation Lands.
On April 30/May 1, 2009, an intense forest fire “cut a swath through Spryfield, Purcell’s Cove and Ferguson’s Cove.” (Chronicle Herald May 2). A substantial part of the Purcell’s Cove Conservation Lands was affected, notably the higher lying barrens areas. HFN members have been into the affected areas several time since the fire and we conducted our first post-fire inventory on June 25, 2009. It has been fascinating to watch the post-fire succession of species.
See Backland Coalition for more about the area.