For generations, sailors have used Rogues Roost near Prospect as a safe haven.

Now, there is a move to ensure the spectacular secluded inlet is safe from development.

"It's really one of those special places that should be left as it is," said Bonnie Sutherland of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.

Rogues Roost

A map of the Rogues Roost area shows off the cluster of islands that provide a safe haven for sailors. (Nova Scotia Nature Trust)

Almost all of the coastal barrens surrounding Rogues Roost are crown owned, except for 12 hectares of prime land beside the anchorage.

Sutherland says the land was bought for development, but the owner recognizes the value of conservation and is flexible on the price.

On Monday, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust is launching a campaign to come up with the cash.

"We're trying to raise $300,000 that will help pay for the purchase of the property and the cost of ensuring that the conservation work is done that enables us to ensure this piece becomes part of the larger wilderness area," said Sutherland.

The larger wilderness area is a reference to the fact this deal could help unlock an even bigger land preservation at the tip of the Chebucto Peninsula, near Halifax.

Rogues Roost is the only private holding in the midst of 1,200 hectares of wilderness Nova Scotia is considering designating as a protected place later this year.

"It also provides the resources for us to steward this property to manage it, to protect it, to make sure it stays just as it is in perpetuity," said Sutherland.

Refuge for rum runners and sailors

Located amidst granite outcroppings and numerous inlets carved by glaciers, Rogues Roost is a famous "hurricane hole" where sailors get away from wild weather. Where it once was likely used by rum runners to avoid authorities, today it's frequented by sea kayakers and sailors travelling between Halifax and St. Margarets Bay and Mahone Bay.

"There's lots of times I've been out there off Peggys Cove and you don't want to be out there. You know you can come in here and no matter what is blowing, it's safe in here," said Judy Robertson, a sailor who has been coming to Rogues Roost since the 1970s.

"The first time I came here, I thought we were the first boat here ... It's hard to believe you're in HRM and still so far from anything."

Robertson is thrilled the area will be protected.

"This was eventually going to be developed. I'm not against development. I live here too. To know this is for everybody forever is just amazing," she said.