Finally, after 3 years uncertainty, Andy Martins cousin, Cathryn Radclyffe has been able to sign up with the Environmental Protection Agency for 20 years residency and custodianship of the Conservation Park under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. The 117Ha Park encompasses the areas between the short and long tracks from West Bay to the Homestead, including access to water and the bush airfield (not accessible at present). This will allow Cate to follow in the footsteps of her cousin Andrew Martin, aiming for the traditional self-sufficient Island lifestyle and continuing hospitality to visitors. 83% of the island is now gazetted as National Park.
Cate had first visited her cousin on Middle Percy Island in 1985 and immediately felt at home with the ‘hands-on pioneering lifestyle’. She returned to UK to study 4years in Environmental Sciences and eventually settled in the Whitsundays in 1994. Cate actively volunteered with the Whitsunday National and Marine Parks for 6 years, learning about the local ecology; ran the Bush Kids Club; tested water quality for the DNR and Council Water Watch Schemes and worked in Tourism.
Middle Percy Island can now continue to be enjoyed by the many visiting cruising folks who value the islands timeless ambience. The EPA insists that Public Liability is carried by the Conservation Park for visitor access;- so the ‘Percy Island Yacht Club’ has been initiated to help to cover costs and help towards maintenance of the infrastructure. It is marvelous that finally the Government Departments recognize the Island for its unique cultural heritage and conservation values. The EPA have formulated a management plan to ensure that whoever becomes the custodian of the island, the Homestead, Rondarval and ‘Percy Hilton’ A-frame are maintained for future generations.
The coconut palms will be kept on the beach;- but please don’t get hit by falling fronds and nuts, I do believe that mariners are sensible enough not to be so silly. Dogs are allowed to walk Conservation Park tracks with their owners. Usually we are open to visitors at the Homestead and my Labradors will alert us of your presence. Please say ‘hello’ to them and they will wag their tails as well as bark! We are allowed to keep 20 goats, chickens, ducks and up to 4 horses;- all behind high fences, so lots of infrastructure replacement work needs to be done around the Homestead to satisfy the legislation.
As custodians of the Cultural Heritage and Conservation values of the island, I need to know what you understand as important traditional values for the future generations to be able to enjoy this unique island. Please will you all put your comments on this site for reference? (see comments below).
It would also be great to have a story board with all those funny and special times with the Whites, Andy and the Hicklings
The History Book compiled by Jon and Lys Hickling is available in CD version $35.00, at the Tree House Homestead or email: [email protected] so you can purchase whilst visiting the Island or order your copy. The History of ‘The Percy Isles, Past and Present’ encapsulates Australian European pioneering history up until the present day, on the 2,000Ha Island. It also includes what little is recorded of the local Aboriginal people that apparently regularly visited and used the Island for its resources. New Editions are updated as the Islands history unfolds.
- Volunteer helpers – gardening, orchards, apiary, ongoing maintenance, fencing
- Fencing materials
- Useful timber