Farley Mowat Donates Land to NS Nature Trust: We Challenge CLC To Do Same in PEI

Author Farley Mowat and his wife, author Claire Mowat.

Well-known Canadian author Farley Mowat recently donated 200 acres of his Cape Breton property to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

 “Nova Scotia is like every other part of the western world, teetering on the edge of falling into some developer’s hands and being destroyed for money,” Mowat told CBC News.


Obviously, the perfect example of what Farley is talking about is what may happen to the Upton Farmlands.

As you know, the Canada Lands Company (an arm of the federal government) is intent on selling this piece of PEI coastline, bought and paid for by the taxpayers of Canada decades ago, to real estate developers to be used for tract housing.

CLC wants to divide up this beautiful property, located in an area of Charlottetown that already has hundreds of serviced housing lots for sale,  and sell it off piece by piece for yet another subdivision.

We, and groups such as the PEI Shellfishers, have repeatedly asked that the Upton Farmlands be donated to the citizens of PEI for an urban forest and for recreational use.

If a private citizen like Farley Mowat can sacrifice  the monetary profit he could make on selling 200 acres of his Cape Breton coastal property for the betterment of our country, think how inspiring it would be if the government of Canada followed suit and donated the Upton Farmlands to its “real owners,” as Farley terms the people of Canada.

We challenge the Federal Government to follow Farley Mowat’s example.

The CBC story about Farley Mowat’s generous donation is here:

“Farley Mowat and his wife, Claire, are donating more than 200 acres of land on Cape Breton Island to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

The couple has lived in River Bourgeois for 30 years.

The iconic Canadian author and environmentalist is calling on other Nova Scotians to follow his example and help protect the province’s coastline by donating their land to the conservation charity.

“Nova Scotia is like every other part of the western world, teetering on the edge of falling into some developer’s hands and being destroyed for money,” Mowat told CBC News.

“But it is just at the crux, and at this point Claire and I have decided we should give it to its real owners.”

Mowat said they’ve closely studied the animals, birds, insects and plant life on their property, and are scared by the decline they have witnessed.

He said his family wants to make sure nothing interferes with the land that runs along the coast of St. Peter’s Bay.

The Mowats’ donation is being made through a federal tax incentive program.

Bonnie Sutherland, executive director of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, is delighted by the donation.

The land contains fresh water wetlands and bogs, two peninsulas with estuarial inland bays, beaches and a fresh water lagoon.

“So, it has a real diversity of habitats, a lot of different species that depend on this kind of property,” Sutherland said.

“I think it’s significant beyond this particular piece, which is affectionately known as Farley’s Ark, the place where he’s preserved these species and wants to see that natural oasis protected and preserved into the future.

“But it’s also really significant because of the context of Nova Scotia’s coastline where 95 per cent of the coast is in private hands.”

Farley Mowat is also taking on the role of patron for the Nature Trust’s Campaign for the Coast.