As we slip back into the routine of work back in the UK we still have an outstanding piece of work for the Turks and Caicos National Trust. The report on our findings and suggestions for improvements is still taking shape. At every step it seems to get a little longer with more to be included and new ideas coming to us. Unfortunately the problem always comes back to resources. The Trust needs more people on the ground to organise the work and manage activities and more money to be able to pay for some of the basic improvements that are needed.
One of the problems is a simple one concerning the tourist attractions. Promotion of sites such as Conch Bar Caves, Wade’s Green, Cheshire Hall and Little Water Cay (which we never managed to get to) is vital to help bring in visitors and thus more money to manage them. Without start up money however it’s hard to pay for the staff to manage the sites, without staff at the sites you can’t promote them to visitors.
Cheshire Hall is a great example of a former plantation. It’s not as complete as Wade’s Green but it is a fantastic area of green in the built up part or Providenciales. There are history, wildlife and views all here but visitor numbers are not huge. Improved promotion, better signage may both help here but the proposed new offices for the Trust on site may be the thing that really makes a difference. Hopefully any problems can be solved and this can happen over the next couple of years.
Back here in England cash is also a problem but not quite on the scale that it is back in the Turks and Caicos Islands. One of Duncan’s first jobs on his return was to help draw up the 2011-12 budget for Northumberland Wildlife Trust, a dull but necessary job. This highlights one of the things about charitable type organisations; whatever the income the aspirations outstrip the resources that are available. It’s true here, true in the TCI, probably true the world over.