Protected Areas

The first lands formally protected to conserve ecological and cultural values were the “Capt. Arnell Lands” (12.1 ha), donated to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust (NSNT) by the Field brothers (Roger, Nigel, Kenneth, Peter, Robert, Chris, and Nicholas Field) in 2003. In 2009, an adjacent property (22.9 ha) belonging to the Napier family (Agnes, Corinne, Mary, Murray & Paul Napier and Ben MacIntosh) was contributed to NSNT. Together, these properties make up the Purcell’s Cove Conservation Lands administered by the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

Stone tread trail construction over wet spot, Purcell's Cove Conservation Lands

Stone tread trail construction over wet spot, Purcell’s Cove Conservation Lands

On June 24, 2014, HRM Regional Council approved a request by the Nova Scotia Nature Trust to have four HRM owned properties rezoned to (PA) Protected Area. These properties (40.5, 20.2, 18.4 and 5.6 ha) abut or are close to the Purcell’s Cove Conservation Lands.

The Backlands Coalition is seeking protection of as much as possible of the undeveloped lands within the Backlands in order to conserve important species and ecosystems maintain vital ecosystem services, preserve sites of historical significance, and to allow continued public access to the many trails and enjoyment of a wilderness experience within close proximity to urban core areas. Currently 120 ha are formally protected and 508 ha are in crown land. See Fig 1, page 9 in Purcell’s Cove Backlands:┬áProposed Protected Area, cited below, for the distribution of these lands. We are very encouraged by a proposal by the Shaw group and the Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect the largest block (162 ha) of private land in the Backlands by Colpitt and Williams Lakes.

See the documents and websites below for more information.

Purcells Cove Conservation Lands
Page on the Halifax Field Naturalists website.

Purcells Cove Backlands: Proposed Protected Area
Document prepared by Alice Morgan and Kevin Hooper (Nova Scotia Nature Trust) for the Community Design Advisory Committee, Regional Plan 5 Year Review, Halifax Regional Municipality, in October, 2012. This document describes the four HRM parcels of land, their uses and their relationship to the Purcell’s Cove Conservation lands.

Protecting the Backlands within the Halifax Green Network
This Document was prepared by the Purcell’s Cove Neighbourhood Committee for the Halifax Green Network Public Submissions Process, July 10, 2015. It provides an overview of the values of the Backlands that so many would like to see preserved for future generations of people and wildlife.

Shaw Wilderness Park
On Halifax Trails. describes hiking trails, provides trails map etc.