2021 project banner

Securing Montserrat’s threatened endemic species and natural capital through community-actions

This project was awarded funding in 2021. It builds on earlier work under “Adopt a Home for Wildlife” initiative allows individuals, organisations, community groups and businesses to maintain and protect a public or private space, in partnership with the Montserrat National Trust (MNT). It is one realistic opportunity of safeguarding and restoring pockets of habitats, e.g. tropical dry forest, across the island.

During the pilot phase UKOTCF and MNT worked with several land-owners, producing some immediate and positive outcomes for biodiversity. For example, the large stand of Casuarina (a highly invasive Australian species found in the Caribbean) was removed from much of the Belham Valley area, but carefully keeping those native species, which provide important coastal defence and natural shade for a recreation area. 

The project aims to increasing Montserrat’s globally important endemic/native plants and invertebrates, by managing invasive plant species, through community-led site-restoration. This will enhance biodiversity alongside people while providing sustainable small- enterprise opportunities and increasing community-wellbeing. 

The project is part-funded by the UK Government’s Darwin Plus fund.

Project Launch

On October 29th the launch took place at the Montserrat National Trust (MNT). The Trust together with the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum (UKOTCF) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing & Environment were joined by other local partners, including 664Connect Media, community groups including Cork Hill Reunion Committee, businesses and individuals, some of whom were involved in the earlier pilot work testing the approach.

Live streams of the event can be seen below:

Project Updates

Click on the links below to track the project’s progress to date:

26 March 2022 – Insect Surveys

On Saturday, 26 March members of the Montserrat National Trust’s Adopt A Home for Wildlife project conducted an Insect Survey on the land that has been allocated to the EcoPlay Children’s Park. Click HERE to view photos.

15 Feb 2022 – Adopters Workshop 

On 15, Feb 2022 the Montserrat National Trust hosted a training event for the Adopters who have signed up to the Adopt A Home For Wildlife project. The training event was facilitated by visiting Botanist – Madeline Heap, with assistance from Delmaude Ryan and employees from the Department of Environment. Click HERE to view photos. To view the presentation given at the workshop click on the slides. 
 

 13 Feb 2022 – 664 Joyride

On 13, Feb 2022 Madeline Heap joined Vernaire Bass for a joyride on the popular 664Connect Media show to discuss the work that she is doing for the project Adopt A Home For Wildlife project and they also took a tour of Montserrat National Trust’s garden, where they discussed different types of plant species and their attributes. Click HERE to watch the full interview.

4 Feb 2022 – Hiking Trail Mapping

On 4, Feb 2022 Madeline Heap, Vernaire Bass and Philemon Murrain mapped out a hiking trail on the Montserrat National Trust’s newly acquired land in Friths. Click HERE to view photos.

18 Nov 2021 – MALHE Vibes

On 18, Nov 2021 Mike Pienkowski and Vernaire Bass attended the local radio show – MALHE Vibes. MAHLE Vibes is a show hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and they attended the show to promote the launch of the project and to inform local farmers etc. about what to expect from the project. Click HERE to listen to the show.

29 Oct 2021 – Launch of Adopt A Home For Wildlife Project

On 29 Oct 2021 the Montserrat National Trust launched the exciting and ambitious three-year Adopt A Home For Wildlife Project. We were joined by our local partners, including 664Connect Media, community groups including Cork Hill Reunion Committee, businesses and individuals, some of whom were involved in the earlier pilot work testing the approach. Click HERE to view photos.

28 Oct 2021 – Hike through the MNT’s New Land

On Friday, 1 October 2021 Mr. John Allen presented the deeds for 13 acres of land to the Trust on behalf of the Piper Family. Dr. Archibald Piper and his family have donated four parcels of land (approximately 13 acres) in the village of Friths to the Trust, to assist with our work in biodiversity projection and habitat restoration. Hailing from the village of Cork Hill, Dr. Piper, who is retired from an illustrious career as a plastic surgeon in Flint, Michigan, and who has participated in medical missions around the world performing cleft palate surgeries in poor communities, made the announcement in a letter to the Director of the Trust, Mrs Sarita Francis.
 

On the 28, Oct 2021 the MNT team (including Ann Pienkowski and Mike Pienkowksi) visited the land for the first time, to discuss how they will use the land to benefit the people of Montserrat. Click HERE to view photos.

27 Oct 2021 – In The Hot Seat Show

On 27, Oct 2021 Mike Pienkowski and Sarita Francis attended the online entertainment show – In The Hot Seat. In The Hot Seat is a show hosted by Vernaire Bass on 664Connect Media to promote the launch of the project. Click HERE to watch to the show.

27 Oct 2021 – Adopt A Home For Wildlife Launch Press Release

On 27, Oct 2021 the Montserrat National Trust circulated a press release about the project to its stakeholders and media partners. Click HERE to read the full press release. 

Project Newsletter

View or download the latest issue of UKOTCF’s Save Our Special Nature of Montserrat newsletter – in PDF format – and any previous issues.

FAQs

“Adopt a Home for Wildlife” (run by Montserrat National Trust and UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum) aims to preserve Montserrat’s natural heritage through community action. 

“Adopters” are defined as “a person, group or business that has agreed (with the project and the landholders, if the latter are not themselves) responsibility for land-management and, together with the Project, will undertake this it in a way which protects Montserrat’s unique nature for generations to come”.

You can join the Adopt A Home for Wildlife Facebook Group HERE.

Contact the project team info@montserratnationaltrust.ms

Acknowledgments

Those partners and sponsors that supported earlier work