About The Gully

Nature Lovers and Plant Enthusiasts

 

If you like nature, hiking (at any level), plants, culture and natural history, then Welchman Hall gully must not be missed.

The tranquil feel of the gully will instantly strike you. It is a place where you can experience a piece of nature and imagine what the island was like 300 years ago. It is a touch of tropical forest, mixed with Barbadian and other exotic tropical plants.

Since Barbados does not have many remaining tropical landscapes that are easily accessible, visiting Welchman Hall Gully will be an unexpected surprise and treat.

 

 

Geologic Formation

 

Fascinatingly, the gully is also still geologically connected to Harrison’s Cave. Before Harrison’s Cave was developed, locals would enter via an entrance located in Welchman Hall Gully. In fact, Welchman Hall Gully was formed by the collapsed roofs of caves.

 

You can still see evidence of stalagmites and stalactites throughout your walk. However, gullies are generally formed when the land is pushed up and cracked, then developed by rain erosion.

     

The Development of the Gully

 

The Gully was once part of a plantation owned by a Welshman called General William Asygell Williams over 200 years ago. Hence the name “Welchman Hall’ gully. It was this man who first developed the gully with exotic trees and an orchard. Interestingly, the grapefruit is originally from Barbados and is rumoured to have started in Welchman Hall Gully.

 

There is also a large nutmeg walk; exotic and native palms section and an ornamental section to the gully. You can also walk through the native section of the gully. The gully is ¾ of a mile long.

The Gully was bought by the Barbados National Trust in 1962, and was their first property. They continued to develop the gully by adding more exotics trees and ornaments, and by putting in a path through the middle of the gully, making it easier to access by more people.

 

 

 

Flora and Fauna

 

Barbados forms part of the Lesser Antilles where there are about 2100 species of native, or naturalised plants. However, Barbados hosts only about 700 species of these native or naturalised plants, where only 2 are endemic to Barbados, a gully shrub, Phyllanthus andersonii and a slender climber Metastelma barbadense.

 

The gully shrub is quite common in the Gully. Here in Barbados, it is believed that with the onset of colonisation and the intense cultivation of sugar, many indigenous plants disappeared.

Not surprisingly, it was in the gullies where most of the native plant community were able to survive the sugar invasion. There are about 150 plants found in the gully, but the goal is to re-introduce more native plants.


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