The Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project, with support from the PEI 2014 Fund, the Island Nature Trust and Environment and Climate Change Canada EcoAction Community Fund has created a new 2.7 hectare (6.6 acre) Acadian forest.

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Click here to see map of the Fernwood Confederation Forest.


Since 2014, Macphail Staff, the Island Nature Trust and volunteers have been planting native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and ferns such as red oak, white ash, witch hazel, wild rose and blue flag iris. Community involvement has helped to not only create a new forest but also provided opportunities for environmental education, carbon offsetting, and improving wildlife habitat along the shore of the Bedeque Bay.

In 2012, the donation of the property (from the estate of Island artist Elaine Harrison, who named it “Windswept”) was directed by Executors Betty and Everett Howatt to the Island Nature Trust, who are now responsible for the management of the property.  Under the Natural Areas Protection Act, it has been designated as a Natural Area.

 
Foxes were to help with the plantings!

Foxes were there to help with the plantings!

 
A mixture of species and ages were to used during out plantings!

A mixture of species and ages were to used during out plantings!

This 2.7 hectare (6.6 acre) property is located in Fernwood and known as the Seacow Head Cliffs Natural Area as well as “Windswept”. The land is quite flat, reflecting its past history of agriculture.  The northern and western boundaries of the abandoned farmland are the Northumberland Strait, and are made up of high sandstone cliffs.  This area is suitable for colonial nesting birds such as Double-crested and Great Cormorants, hence the designation as a Natural Area by the province of Prince Edward Island.  Over the past four decades, cliff-nesting birds have been observed using these cliffs.

In the past, plantings of native and non-native species of trees and shrubs were carried out on the property. The most recent were by the Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association and the Sea Cadets.

As of 2017, approximately 600 trees, shrubs, flowers and ferns have been planted on site using 30 different native species. These are all flora well suited to the varying conditions of the site as well as the climate of the region as they were grown from local seed stock. The plants chosen for plantings were of varying heights and ages to help develop a mixed-aged forest in the future, creating local seed sources and sizeable trees for wildlife, as well as changing habitat conditions for future plantings. This Confederation Forest site limited the number of species due to its sea-side locale, the prevailing winds and salt spray. Hardy native plants were chosen to being transitioning the property into a more protected site for future plantings. As the conditions on the site change, a larger variety of species will be planted enhancing biodiversity and food sources for wildlife.

 
We planted several large Red Oaks, our provincial tree!

We planted several large Red Oaks, our provincial tree!


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Please click here to download the full Ecological Management Plan.

 


Species planted in the Fernwood Confederation Forest

Upcoming Events

Jul
6
Mon
9:00 pm Summer Camp: Young Ecologists Se...
Summer Camp: Young Ecologists Se...
Jul 6 @ 9:00 pm – Jul 10 @ 3:00 pm
Young Ecologists: Session One This camp will begin to introduce the campers to the amazing complexity of our native Acadian forests. They will dissect owl pellets, take part in forest restoration planning and plantings and
Jul
13
Mon
9:00 pm Summer Camp: Nature Discovery Se...
Summer Camp: Nature Discovery Se...
Jul 13 @ 9:00 pm – Jul 17 @ 3:00 pm
Nature Discovery: Session One This camp will introduce the children to the woods, stream and native tree nursery that surround our Nature Center. The campers will delight in learning to use all their senses to
Jul
20
Mon
9:00 pm Summer Camp: Becoming a Naturali...
Summer Camp: Becoming a Naturali...
Jul 20 @ 9:00 pm – Jul 24 @ 3:00 pm
Becoming a Naturalist Session One This camp focuses on encountering and describing the natural world. Through the use of art and other hands-on outdoor activities, they’ll expand their understanding of life in the woodlands, waterways,
Jul
25
Sat
10:00 am Tracking the Mammals of PEI
Tracking the Mammals of PEI
Jul 25 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Come on out and learn about the native and introduced mammals found on PEI, as well as a brief look at some of the mammals we’ve lost. After a brief slideshow, we’ll head off to
Jul
27
Mon
9:00 pm Summer Camp: Bushcraft Ecology A...
Summer Camp: Bushcraft Ecology A...
Jul 27 @ 9:00 pm – Jul 31 @ 3:00 pm
Bushcraft Ecology Ages 12-14 These campers will delight in learning survival skills such as one-match fire making, shelter building, rope making with natural fibres, and tracking animals. Touching on plant and tree identification, campers will

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