NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (February 26, 2021) — Mr. John Hanley, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism is appealing to members of the public to stop stealing stones from the heritage sites on Nevis.
Mr. Hanley made the call during a recent visit to Fort Charles as the designated heritage site is undergoing upgrade work by the ministry’s Heritage Team led by Mr. Sylvester Meade, Heritage Site Manager.
“Ideally, I would like us to have some expertise on the island in terms of helping us to rebuild the stone walls. Speaking of the stone walls, I certainly would want to discourage persons from continuing the practice of stealing the heritage stones, the historical stones from the site. On some of our sites so many of these stones have been taken that these historic walls have been collapsing.
“So that is why the ministry has taken the decision to fence some of these sites to add a measure of security, and having secured these sites then we would be able to move forward and get the relevant expertise, national, regional expertise to help us to restore the walls because restoring the walls isn’t simply about coming in and putting in Portland Cement in the walls. We have to restore it so that it is historically correct using the lime and motor that was used back in the day,” he said.
Meantime, in relation to restoration work on the coastal side of Fort Charles, Mr. Hanley explained that it is being addressed in collaboration with the Ministry of Communication and Works.
“Those of you who are familiar with the Fort Charles area you would know that we have a severe costal erosion problem… At the moment the cliffs have eroded until they are actually under the sea walls of the fort and some of them have actually collapsed into the sea.
“We have been working with the Ministry of Communications and Works and so on and we have some plans afoot to do some reclamation and some stabilization of the coast in this area. That is going to take a while and it’s going to take a considerable amount of money but we have begun the process and we have had a lot of conversations to do this very important work,” he said.
The Ministry of Tourism is in the process of upgrading the seven heritage sites it is responsible for the upkeep of namely Cottle Church, Bath Hotel, New River Estate, Eden Brown, Fort Charles, Fothergills Heritage Village and Saddle Hill.