Tuesday, 3 July 2012

This Earth is all we have

Our Earth should be treasured, since it is our only home, but instead we are consuming at a horrendous rate and raping our natural resources at warp speed.
Earth Day 2012  was a day of acute awareness for me.
I had never paid much interest before, and the day always came and went like any other day.
However this year was different. With the arrival of an invitation from The Future Centre Trust of Barbados to celebrate the day by touring Welchman Hall Gully, I made a conscious effort to attend.  Naturally I had to invite two of my gardening buddies to attend as well.
It was a bright sunny Sunday morning, ideal for a gully trek.
Many photos below are flooded with sunlight, so sorry about that. The first photo is from the official Welchman Hall Gully website.

The path through the gully made it easy to enjoy the flora                          

The small pond

A wide range of plants, including  a mix of indigenous and exotic tropical plants like nutmeg, palms, ferns, edibles, ornamentals and medicinal plants.
Lovely foliage everywhere
Welchman Hall Gully, located in the parish of St.Thomas,  is the most famous gully in Barbados. It was originally an underground cave, and developed when the roof of the cave collapsed over time (thousands of years). Our island is made up of mainly limestone and coral, and gullies are of major importance in our ecosystem, as they act as the primary relief routes for storm water flows, and also aid in the process of ground water storage.

Our drinking water is collected in the underground  network of limestone aquifers after travelling slowly through the layers of this highly permeable rock. It is then pumped back to the surface where it is treated and distributed to homes by our government regulated Water Authority.
A local PSA informs Bajans (*) not to dump refuse in the gullies, as it obstructs the natural watercourses which can cause flooding in some areas.
As an aside, we have been inundated for several years now by the Giant African Snail which destroys many crops and ornamental vegetation. There were signs of these snails as well  in the gully, but we were informed that we should use a special pellet (brown) in our gardens, as this was not as detrimental to the water supply. The excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers as well as the blue snail pellets previously used were hazardous to the island's fresh water sources.

Our guides were full of information, and readily answered all our questions.
The gully is only 3/4 mile long, but after wandering along and stopping and staring at everything, we felt as if we had covered a longer distance.  Even the monkeys (Barbados Green Monkey) were curious about our presence in their tranquil habitat.
After the walk, we gathered under a tent to view interesting presentations on a number of topics including hydrology, permaculture and green infrastructure. Delicious refreshments were served as well.

It was a morning well spent, and it was a real eye-opening experience.  I came away with a lot of information which has served me in good stead in my own garden, and I have also shared the information with my circle of gardening buddies.
We are the caretakers of this Earth, let us do our best to ensure that future generations have a better earth than what we inherited.

(*)Barbadians are also called Bajans, which is a shortened and more endearing name.


  1. I feel that I am about to embark on a new adventure in a land I know not. Nor, despite in my youth knowing quite a few Barbadians, did I know that the local term was Bajans. But then, why would I?

    I am staying with my niece and nephew-in-law at moment and their mantra is very much the same as your last sentence "We are the caretakers of this Earth, let us do our best to ensure that future generations have a better earth than what we inherited." We would do well to remember that and try to live by it.

  2. Seems as if you are enjoying yourself on your travels.....please don't give the young ones any reason to refer to you as "the uncle with the grey beard who gives us stress when he visits."
    So you had previous affiliations with Bajans in your youth, and knew not this...curious to know how that came about.
    I am saddened at the state of our world, so it makes me happy to know that there are other kindred souls like myself who are doing their part to nurture what we do have left of our Mother Earth.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...