Discover Barbados’ Natural Beauty
There’s such a variety of natural wonders for you to enjoy in Barbados and the picturesque Welchman Hall Gully in central St. Thomas is the ideal attraction for the nature enthusiast.
The tranquil three-quarter mile long gully is a tropical rainforest with a beautiful mix of local Barbadian native, as well as exotic plants.
If you’re a nature lover and love natural history, then you’re going to love Welchman Hall Gully.
Tip: The Gully is also a very popular venue for birthday parties and weddings.
History of Welchman Hall Gully
Welchman Hall Gully was originally part of old plantation land owned by a Welshman (General William Asygell Williams), hence the name ‘Welchman’.
In 1962, the Gully was adopted as a heritage site by the Barbados National Trust (www.barbadosnationaltrust.org), who continued to beautify and develop the Gully to make it easier for people to access and enjoy this natural wonder as a major tourist attraction in Barbados.
Note: The Gully itself came about a result of the collapsed rooves of caves and is said to be still geologically connected to Harrison’s Cave.
Touring The Gully
The tour is self-guided and takes about 30 to 45 minutes to walk. There is a guidebook you can purchase which highlights plants and features of the Gully, as well as descriptive signs throughout the Gully itself.
There are free guided tours available mainly during the island’s high tourist season (December to April). Please check days and times with the Welchman Hall Gully staff.
There are also a variety of other tours available, including private tours and school group tours. Please see www.welchmanhallgullybarbados.com/garden-tours.cfm for further details.
Note: Welchman Hall Gully is wheelchair friendly.
Flora of the Gully
There are less than 200 flowering plants found in Welchman Hall Gully – a third are native and the rest are introduced exotics.
Whilst the native gully shrub is common in the Gully, it’s believed that with the onset of colonisation and the intense cultivation of sugar, many indigenous plants disappeared.
In other areas of the Gully you’ll find flora not necessarily native to Barbados such as clove, nutmeg, cocoa, coffee, citrus, avocado and other tropical fruit trees, as well as a magnificent Bamboo grove.
Did you know? The practice of land clearing and chemical spraying has put the island’s flora under increasing pressure, making Welchman Hall Gully and its conservation works essential to Barbados’ future.
Animals Of The Gully
The native green monkeys are a common sighting here as the Gully provides food, shelter and is a passageway to other gullies. You can see them playing and feeding in their natural environment, amongst the vines and the trees.
Another animal that has made itself home in the Gully is the monarch butterfly, as well as a variety of birds, especially hummingbirds.
There’s also the ‘spaghetti snake’, said to be the smallest snake in the world – keep your eyes peeled for this little critter!
What Else Can I Expect?
The team at Welchman Hall Gully provide so many additional programmes and conservation opportunities which include, but are not limited to:
— an education centre
— a children’s nature programme
— opportunities for research students
— volunteering and internship programmes, and
— a ‘back to nature’ camp.
Conservation at Welchman Hall Gully
The Gully provides a living research space for conservation, and has been promoting flora conservation since 2009, with its Native Plant Restoration Project. The project aims to reintroduce and preserve native plants, educate the public, and support scientific research.
Fauna are also added to their conservation efforts, with Welchman Hall Gully considered a conservational area for the preservation of particular animal species too.
We’re All In This Together – Partnerships Of The Gully
Welchman Hall Gully is also in partnership with other businesses like Hunte’s Garden, Sugar Cane Club Hotel and Spa, and Bougainvillea Beach Resort, who are also plant enthusiasts and share a passion for the Gully’s conservation, education and research.
Opening hours: Daily – 9am to 4pm (Last entry 3.30pm)
Closed 25 December (Christmas Day) and the first Monday in August (Barbados Grand Kadooment Day).
Admission: Adults US$12 (booklet included, children (5 to 12 years) US$6, and children under 5 years are free.
Tip: Group rates are also available upon request.
Telephone: (246) 438-6671
Want To Know More?
Visit Welchman Hall Gully’s official website (www.welchmanhallgullybarbados.com) or connect with them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pages/Welchman-Hall-Gully/177401005629798).
Author: Brett Callaghan