The Falkland Islands Government announced on Wednesday that the first phase of its three-year program of works to remove former minefield fences is progressing well and is ahead of schedule.
Local contractor, Keith Heathman, has been pressing on with the project at Yorke Bay and has removed more than 2km of fencing. Additionally, all minefield fences at Fox Bay West have also now been cleared.
Mindful of environmental considerations, removal work will not take place close to the important wildlife breeding grounds of Gentoo penguins at Yorke Bay and Magellanic penguins at Gypsy Cove, until after the breeding season. The final pieces of fence lines in these areas will be removed once breeding and moulting is over, from around May 2022. By the end of the first phase, all fences from Cape Pembroke to Gypsy Cove will have been cleared.
Plans for the second year of the program, due to begin in early 2022, are also progressing well and include the removal of the minefield fences and associated waste across an extensive area of Stanley Common, just south of town. Information on the third phase will be published in due course.
By the time the project ends, it is estimated that approximately 77km of redundant minefield fencing will have been removed in total, providing the public with peace of mind and helping to remove part of the painful legacy of the 1982 war.