Botanists and bug-lovers will want to visit Devonshire Marsh (open sunrise to sunset daily, admission free), a protected wetland cradled in the Middle Road valley and once dubbed “Brackish Pond”—which became a popular nickname for the whole parish in centuries past. Named the Firefly Nature Reserve and the Freer Cox Nature Reserve, both areas comprise the Bermuda National Trust’s 10-acre marsh and have been set aside as a special sanctuary for birds and endangered island fauna.
Waterways meander through the marshland, leading past natural orchids and a wealth of insect and birdlife.
Unlike Paget Marsh, it remains largely the realm of scientists or birders, as the ground is deep and boggy; to date, no boardwalks or educational signage have been erected to guide public visits. The effects of a fire, which ravaged a large portion of the area in the 1990s, can still be spotted in some parts, though the marsh has mostly recovered from the blaze. The grassy borders of the marsh are harvested for fodder for the island’s dairy cows.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition