By Lettie Stratton
A piece of Nova Scotia land purchased 42 years ago by Wake Robin resident Sheryl Worrall has just received official protection against development from the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). NCC has now conserved 1087 acres in the Port Joli/Port L’Herbert area.
Worrall, along with her husband and two other families, purchased the land in 1970 after being enamoured with the pristine beaches and undeveloped landscape. “We went up there in 1969,” she said. “Of course, the water is freezing cold because it’s right on the Atlantic, but it’s beautiful.”
Originally owned by a fishing family, the land which is a beach, wetland, and forest site in the Scotian South Shore region is known as Sandy Bay and is home to many shorebirds, including the endangered piping plover. Worrall’s daughter, Persis, said the original acreage of the site was 201 but due to erosion, the number today sits at 171.
The Worrall family spent summers at Sandy Bay enjoying the beaches and lack of roads. “We became worried when we began to see signs that people wanted to develop the area,” Worrall said, explaining that there was talk of putting up cottages along the beach and allowing motorcycle racing in the area.
Worrall said that she and the sons and daughters of the other two families who purchased the land had been debating about what to do to protect it for about 12 years. She explained that after working with NCC for two years the land transaction (a partial sale, partial donation) and protection is finally complete. “It was a bit of an evolution,” she added.
Although the land transaction happened in March, many more details needed to be worked out and the official public ceremony and announcement was July 30. “Now it will remain untouched,” Worrall happily concluded.