On Wednesday, June 21st, 2017, the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation (SRDF) carried out a trail maintenance assessment exercise at the Gros Piton Nature Trail to ascertain the viability of the footpath’s integrity at the world renowned tourist attraction.
An evaluation team comprising officers from the Department of Forestry and personnel from the SRDF Projects unit, painstakingly inspected the entire 2 mile trek of rugged terrain detailing the prerequisite reparative measures needed to improve visitor experience and bolster safety standards.
The Forestry officials indicated that certain parts of the trail needed to have fresh planking re-laid in addition to the reinforcement of railings for stability; however, the interventions were not deemed as dire and would not require the full closure of the site and could be done during normal operating hours.
According to Jimmy Haynes, Executive Director, “The trail is in a very good condition, there are a few areas which need addressing, including the creation of a drainage system to accommodate water flow to avoid erosion.”
“The closure of this site is part of the organization’s maintenance regime and the timing of today’s closure sort to address concerns expressed on the trail’s condition,” said Haynes.
Mr. Haynes further added that the SRDF was preparing to head an eradication drive to rid the Gros Piton of the exotic invasive plant species Wandering Jew (Tradescantia pallida).The effort will be held in collaboration with stakeholder partners; including residents of Fond Gens Libre, trail tour guides with Forestry and Piton Management Area officials.
Senior officials of the organization culminated the day’s exercise by having a debriefing session with the tour guides and management of the Gros Piton Nature Trail.
The Soufriere Foundation is a non-profit company located in Soufriere. Its mandate is to undertake social, cultural, human resource, tourism and infrastructure development in the Soufriere area.
The organization which was established in 1993 generates revenues from its operational sites: the Sulphur Springs Park, Gros Piton Nature Trail, Comfort Center, Soufriere jetties and 88.5 Soufriere FM.