Lighthouse on the point of Brier Island (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Lighthouse on the point of Brier Island (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Brier Island

Brier Island, NS (Photo by NCC)

Brier Island, NS (Photo by NCC)

The Brier Island Nature Reserve was established in 1988 and, thanks to your support, continues to expand.

Remote and rugged, Brier Island is Nova Scotia’s westernmost point and requires two ferry rides to get there. The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Brier Island Nature Reserve protects over 400 hectares of habitat — that’s a quarter of the island — including habitat for endangered species. It is also designated a globally significant Important Bird Area. NCC works closely with the local community, volunteers and partners to care for the nature reserve. Within the nature reserve lie the Brier Island Coastal Trail and Big Meadow Bog.

Big Meadow Bog provides rich habitat for migrating birds on the Atlantic Flyway and is home to several rare plants, such as eastern mountain avens. Years ago, there was an attempt to turn the bog area into farmland, resulting in the loss of habitat for eastern mountain avens. NCC is a lead partner in the restoration of Big Meadow Bog, working with research groups and local volunteers to save the avens and reverse impacts on the landscape. Community awareness and support for the project are central to its success. The project has included community engagement to involve the islanders in a genuine and meaningful way. Protecting a rare plant on a small island may not seem like much, but by joining together to take decisive, restorative action for the sake of this oft-hidden flower, we are developing best practices and sharpening our stewardship processes to protect the existing biodiversity. 

Brier Island Nature Reserve is a popular Nature Destination for birders and whale watchers, and visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds of the Bay of Fundy along the 3.5-kilometre Brier Island Coastal Trail between Western Light and Pond Cove. Approximately 20,000 annual seasonal tourists visit the island, many of whom walk the coastal trail. A detailed assessment of the Brier Island Coastal Trail was completed in 2022 and identified improvements needed to keep the trail safe and enjoyable. By using sustainable and long-lasting materials, the improvements will make the trail more resilient to the effects of climate change. NCC will begin this work from 2023 through 2024.

With your generous support, we can continue to care for this unique landscape that will benefit both people and wildlife. Donate today.

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