Welchman Hall Tropical Forest Reserve, more commonly referred to as the Welchman Hall Gully is located in St. Thomas, one of the hilliest parishes in Barbados. In fact, it is in the same region as Mount Hillaby, the highest point in Barbados at approximately 1100 feet above sea level. The gully is approximately 800 feet above sea level and commands a spectacular view of the neighboring St. Andrew’s parish and the Scotland District.
Welchman Hall was the first property purchased and which became wholly owned by the Trust. Purchase of this in 1992 was spearheaded by Mr. Ronald Tree, the Founder of the Barbados National Trust who recognized the importance of the environmental aspect of our mandate as well as the importance of the native plants which inhabit the Gully.
The Barbados National Trust developed this site into a major tourist attraction as a place to be visited during tours across Barbados.
The Gully is rich in natural vegetation. A number of areas have been left in their natural state and are used to illustrate how Barbados must have appeared to the early settlers.
In other areas of the Gully can be found flora not necessarily native to Barbados but that cannot be found in other areas of Barbados. In particular, there are clove, nutmeg, cocoa, coffee, citrus, avocado and other tropical fruit trees and a magnificent Bamboo grove.
Apart from the plant and animal life – the green monkeys have a feeding station in the Gully – visitors are exposed to aspects of Barbados geologic history as a coral island and with the Gully’s connection with Harrison’s Cave next door. Huge stalactites and stalagmites are testimony to the Gully’s origin as part of an enormous cave system. In fact, the gully is often described as a cave whose roof has fallen in.
The nutmeg grove is the section of the gully which probably generates the most interest. The last stop before leaving the gully would be to climb the steps to the lookout and gazebo to savor the magnificent and panoramic view across the highlands of Barbados’ East Coast as well as the breaking rollers of the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.