Burren's Acres Nature Reserve


Burren's Acres is the product of one woman's mission to heal a scarred landscape.  Margaret Taylor purchased this two hectare property to restore its ecosystems reeling from an industrial past, including diatomite drying, logging and a former car dump.  Over ten years, Margaret recruited her friends to help remove garbage and invasive species from the site.  Today, their efforts have cumulated into a precious and fragile mossy meadow where each spring camas, blue-eyed Mary, seablush and several species of orchid grow.

In 2013, Margaret donated the sanctuary she created to the Islands Trust Conservancy to be protected forever as a nature reserve.  She named the nature reserve Burren's Acres, a tribute to her beloved canine companion who long accompanied her on walks through the property's forest.


In the 1930s, Burren's Acres was part of Gabriola's diatomaceous earth mine.  Diatomaceous earth (diatomite), excavated from a nearby swamp, was laid to dry on the bare bedrock of what is now the nature reserve.  After the mine ceased in the early 1940s, the property was periodically logged and used as a car dump, but never built on. 

In the early 2000s, Margaret Taylor purchased the property and began a long endeavour restoring the forest and meadow habitat.  In 2013, she donated the nature reserve to the Islands Trust Conservancy.


Burren's Acres Nature Reserve holds a wildflower meadow over very shallow bedrock.  The meadow's moss is extremely sensitive to footsteps.  Human use of the reserve, even light walking, could destroy the ecosystem.  Therefore, we ask visitors to refrain from venturing into this nature reserve and instead use the nearby 707 Community Park for walking and nature appreciation.


The Burren's Acres Nature Reserve is monitored annually by the Islands Trust Conservancy and is also checked regularly by a volunteer warden.  The management plan for the Burren's Acres Nature Reserve can be viewed here.

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The Steils and the Steil's Woods Covenant

After more than 50 years immersed in the hustle and bustle of the lower mainland, Sara and Richard Steil enjoyed a quieter life surrounded by natural habitat they protected with a conservation covenant.

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Page last updated: 16/10/19
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