Is The Last Remaining Mangrove Wetland In Barbados Disappearing?

Submitted by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

[Bridgetown, BARBADOS, May 6, 2010] A new environmental study sharply critical of the Government of Barbados shows the key Graeme Hall mangrove wetland is disappearing due to outside pollution and poor water quality.

The Graeme Hall wetland is the last remaining mangrove in Barbados – a red mangrove forest that has existed for no less than 1,300 years. It is the only wetland in Barbados recognized internationally under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar). It acts as a Caribbean flyway stop for migratory birds between North and South America.

The extensive 800 page study prepared for the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary by Environmental Engineering Consultants of Tampa, Florida shows the Sanctuary has suffered a 77 per cent reduction in salinity in the past ten years due to an inoperative government-run sluice gate. The huge reduction signals “an inevitable failure of the mangrove ecosystem” as freshwater flora and fauna take over.

The study also cites damaging factors including: dumping of raw sewage into the wetland instead of the sea by the South Coast Sewage Treatment Plant; contaminated storm water runoff originating from 1,150 acres of government-managed drainage systems; and, commercial and residential pollutants from adjoining properties.

“The government owned and operated sluice gate failure confirms our worst fears,” said Stuart Heaslet, an official with Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. “It means that as the mangrove forest dies, it will not grow back because freshwater plants are taking over.”

The original environmental investment in the Sanctuary was based on the area being protected as a brackish mangrove ecosystem.

“The study confirms that Government-controlled pollution is being dumped into the wetland. Despite our formal offers of technical and financial assistance to government, there has been no response. We can’t defend ourselves against pollution and environmental mismanagement outside our boundaries. Bird counts are down, crabs are disappearing, and we are seeing environmental degradation everywhere.”

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary occupies 42 per cent of the Ramsar wetland at Graeme Hall, and is owned by Peter Allard, a Canadian investor and philanthropist who has put more than US $35 million into the 35-acre eco-tourism site to preserve the last significant mangrove woodland and wetland on the island.

“The investment in the Sanctuary was supposed to be part of a sustainable environmental initiative, dependent on government leadership,” said Allard. “As the largest private environmental stakeholder in Barbados, we continue to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain the Sanctuary, but we all have to face the fact that it’s Government who is killing the wetland. The study shows that our environmental commitment and investment cannot withstand this assault.”

The Sanctuary in fact closed its doors to the general public in late 2008 when problems of pollution and water quality became overwhelming.

“This isn’t just a problem for the Ramsar environmental wetland and our investment, it’s also a health and human welfare problem for the people of Barbados,” said Allard.

Despite a 6,000 signature petition by citizens of Barbados to create a 240-acre national park at Graeme Hall, a new government zoning policy calls for commercial and residential development for the majority of the area.

As the Canadian owner of the Sanctuary, Allard has filed several complaints alleging that the Government of Barbados has violated its international obligations by refusing to enforce its environmental laws, thereby allowing increased pollution and land development to damage the Sanctuary.

See study:

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  • The original title of the submission was changed by BU. A big part of the problem with this issue has always been the tone used by GHNS. You can’t hit someone over the head and expect them to respond kindly. Given what we know the government officials don’t give too hoots about being pressured and regard this as a sovereign matter.


  • Cud Dear! This is like a bad divorce and the only ones to suffer are the children In this case the plant, and animal life and in the end the country because the wetlands are a major important part of our ecology. It is time to stop playing politics.


  • Yaaawnnn…,, uh tired. I gine sleep.


  • It’s Owen Arthur’s fault that the swamp is disappearing…isn’t it?


  • @Anonymous

    This bullshite started under the Arthur government.


  • Until people understand the relevancy of the enviroment and the very significant roles it plays fromthe smallest microscopic organism to human beings, they would never be a appreciation for it .The fact that people continue to take it for granted is a lack of education on their part . The pollution that is going into the wetlands is going to find its way into our water if it hasn”t done so by now. How can a government be so callous in underminding the very source of our survival that is water. The wetlands also play a very important role in helping to cool the earth.
    Yet as now everyone keeps complaining about how hot it is . When nature cannot do it’s job because of our selfishness everybody suffers


  • So, according to ac, Graeme Hall in little Barbados is the source whence springs all life in the World. Why are we worrying about our economy then? We should be charging the World for its very existence and the owners of Graeme Hall should be what Hitler and Napoleon and many others of them aspired to be and failed. Barbados, given the position of ac, should not have to make a call as to whether to open a new school or to bail out a failed commercial project (Graeme Hall) and haul its Canadian owner’s coals out of the fire of his own making. And the organisms and microorganisms so beloved of ac and crew should be playing joyfully in the swamp (along with the dengue mosquitos) instead of having to relinquish their place in government spending priorities to the well being of a Bajan child or to one of our senior citizens.

    David is right. Government (as in all governments) look on this as a sovereign matter and they are not going to bow to pressure, law suits, threats OR the moaning and tactics of the man who lives mostly in the dunes of Longbeach. Those tactics, by the way, are about to become the subject of major international news stories, it is understood. I believe that this subject, raised at this time on VOB and across the way on the seldom read other blog, are designed solely to put a spin on things. Boooooooooorrrrrrriiiiiiiinnnnnnngggggg.


  • @Amused

    By your logic I guess the USA should not be invovled in helping BP clean up the oil spill but should used the money elsewhere to benefit its people. Listen carefully
    when the enviroment is destroy so goes all that dwell therein. Fixing of the gate does not cost as much as constructing a building. Your overview of the situation is all political .My overview is to do what is right and what would benefit the country as a whole.Everything on this planet is interconnected and it is selfish if human only think that it is all about themselves. Whatever problems the government has with Allard the courts would decide. I guess this problem would be resolved when there is an oubreak of mosquitoe borne disease on the island.


  • Georgie Porgie

    I love to read BU for my entertainment. My familiarity with Grahme Hall Swamp goes back to 1959 when we moved into the general area, and as children we took a “short cut” across what was called the banking road from Highway seven next to Maas Clinic inwards on our way to church or to school at St Lawrence or to shop at George Wards store.

    The general area of the “swamp” today is perhaps half to a quarter of what it was then. Especially the section near Brewsters Rd. A lot of it was filled in during the sixties and onwards.

    But guess what? There were no outbreaks of mosquito borne disease on the island— and definitely no dengue (which is of course a scam too, and a disease designed by the Illuminati to kill off black people!) LOL.

    In the early 90’s during National Trust Stop and Stare Walks, I was amazed to see the state of my beloved swamp, and rejoiced to see what was being done with the relatively section that was being then developed towards the end of that decade when leading some tourists through it for my buddy the late founder of the Future Center Trust.

    In my youth I would often met Captain MB Hutt, former late History teacher at HC walking in the swamp and enjoying the scenery and the birds. There was a gun club there in those days. I doubt very many Bajans new about the swamp until it was developed, as it was well hidden except from those who lived at its borders and used it for what ever purposes.

    Now it is a political football. The swamp has long been dissapearing since the early sixties, when much of it was filled up with soil. I never heard a murmur then. Nobody was lamenting that it was such a crucial part of our ecology then.

    Also in those days except for the “banking road” which was a marl filled road, the swamp was far from children friendly as it was when the small part that has been developed, was developed in the late 90’s.

    The truth is that most Bajans didnt know or care about the swamp then, and relatively care about it now. The man that bought it was in my opinion brave or silly to do so. He really think these jokers know or care bout ecology. Why didnt some one tell him that he needed to grease the fellas hands by passing a little mopney under the table?
    Oh by the way does the stream still exist near the Old Pepperpot on the other side of the Road where the Wood’s and Burke’s lived next to what was then the 10 cents pole?


  • @Georgie Porgie

    “Why didnt some one tell him that he needed to grease the fellas hands by passing a little mopney under the table.”

    That may be at the heart of the problem. The Water Park fellow was told about ow things work and nearly succeeded with his plan until citizens campaigned against it and imminent elections forced the Minister’s hand not to approve the application.


  • One day mother nature will make “structural adjustments”.


  • mother nature does not discriminate and when it makes corrections it wouldn’t be pretty. Lots of people suffer. What government would not want to do right on matters of enviromental issues for it’s country?


  • Georgie Porgie

    The worst thing that will happen is that the area will be overgrown with foliage characteristic of land bathed by fresh water – as most of the section towards the old sugar fields has done long ago. The mangrove in the former mangrove area in the other part of Ch Ch (whose name I can not now recollect) has cause no ecological or health problems. It is to be noted that only a relatively small part of the swamp was ever a mangrove area.

    Some of us behaving as if lost of the mangrove will cause the natives to lose thier places with the four and twenty elders around the glassy sea, when the facts are that if this man had not bought the swamp, and developed a small part of it, that the majority of Bajans would not even know that there was a swamp..


  • Georgie Porgie

    the lost of the mangrove in was it Chancery Lane


  • For some people ignorance is bliss!


  • Maybe, just maybe if Allard backs off the matter which is currently in the Canadian Courts which names the government of Barbados as a party, the Barbados government may just relax its position. Until something gives on that matter its hard to see the politics of the situation not escalating.


  • Wetlands are important to any society as they provide many different services not ony for plant and wild life but also for people .Such as protecting and improving water quality .Providing fish and wildlife habitat. Storing floodwaters and maintaining surface waterlevels during dry periods .In a country where we experienced dry conditions annually maintaining our wetlands should be important.


  • An acre of wetland can store 1-1.5million gallons of flood water. So if the government is planning to build houses on the wetlands they had better do the research on the importance of preserving the wetlands. Wetlands function like sponges or tubs in that the process slow the water momentum and erosive potential reduces flood heights and allows for ground water recharge which contributes to base flow to surface systems during dry periods. The government in charge needs to take these facts seriuosly before destroying the wetland.


  • Wetlands are often refered to as kidneys of the vlandscape for their ability to remove excess nutrients toxic substances and sediments from water that flow through them helping to improve downstream water quality.Wetlands have been effective in removing contaminants such as pesticides , landfill leachate ,dissolved
    cholrinated compounds,metals and storm runoff. Well if the government doesn’t think that water filtration is important some one needs to question their sanity!


  • Whether Barbadians knew about the swamp in the 60s or 2010 is irrelevant. The fact is the wetlands are under threat and the sluice gate needs to be operational.


  • GP is right when he wrote that many people in Barbados were unaware of Graeme Hall Swamp or “The Swamp” as it was called by the locals who lived in the surrounding areas.

    But GP didn’t mention little boys catching fish called “thousands” and storing them in rudimentary aquariums e.g pans or some type of glass container. GP didn’t mention people going “crabbing” in the area at night with “crocus bags” to store any crabs which were caught and because the area was very dark they would carry a “smut lamp” to be able to navigate the locale. I suspect GP was too busy with Latin and Biology homework that’s why GP became a Doctor and I became a ne’er do well (LOL)

    There are many jokes about scam artists selling swamp land in Florida to the gullible; however Allard chose to buy swamp land in Barbados and then become a thorn in the Arthur led Gov’t’s hide. The Thompson led Gov’t has now inherited some of that bad blood. I haven’t had the opportunity of visiting the place in a number of years but from the photos that I’ ve seen it has undergone a major face lift and one or two people have commented positively to me about the upgrade.

    I don’t know enough about the dispute between the B’dos Gov’t and Allard but it seems to be the stage where both parties are dug into their respective positions and no one is willing to yield so we have a stalemate…… and when that happens no one wins but we all lose. .


  • @Saregeant
    What the people know then in the 60’s is irrelevant. The Question is when is the government going to do its part in maintaining the wetlands a natural source of man’s survival. The government role in this matter is of major importance to it’s people and country. I hold the government responsible . The people did not vote for Peter Allard.


  • You know, when this “story” broke about a “major environmental study” that “slams” Barbados first on VOB and then on BFP, I looked in vain to find it on BU. No sign of it. VOB and BFP had it for an entire day before it appeared on BU. So I figured that BU had had enough of this topic and decided not to join the Allard yardfowls at BFP.

    THEN, BU published, having changed the title. Now, it didn’t take a day to change a title, so I have to axe myself (and David) if BU’s failure to rush to publication had anything to do with the fact that, overestimating his own inflated sense of importance as usual, Mr Allard/GHNS decided to give VOB and BFP the jump on what they perceive to be “the story of the century”.

    Might it be that they did not intend to give the story to BU at all, BUT they needed to try to get BU’s international readership?

    These people have too much time on their hands. I have noticed that there are 22 comments on BU to BFP’s 9. So let us give the Allard yardfowls/BFP groupies (they are all the same people) something to do. They can now write to each other over on BFP under different multiple monnikers so as to give the impression that the story has, to quote BFP “gone viral”. But I got news for you – the virus won – it dead.


  • Either we are for or not for keeping or integrity in tack when it comes to enviromental issues or would rather give in those who would prefer to turn Barbados into a concrete jungle with those ungodly condominums.


  • Georgie Porgie

    I remember well that little boys caught fish called “thousands” in the swamp and stored them in rudimentary aquariums e.g pans or some type of glass container.

    And although I didn’t mention people going “crabbing” in the area at night with “crocus bags”, my brothers, cousins and myself also had :crabbing days”…especially after periods of great rain fall. There was also an area towards “Alleyne’s house where there was a pond with crayfish.

    You forget to mention the passtine of “jumping swamps” referring to jumping from one of those long slender ponds below the lakes or/on the St Lawrence side of the banking Rd. You forget the fear of falling in as folk used to say it was “quick sand? You dindt mention floating on the “bateaux.”

    And NO I didnt do Biology at school until 6th form. Unfortunately I did not do a lot of homework in my school days- just enough not to get put in detention. Only realized that I had to study after I failed my A levels the first time.

    But yes I have many great memories of the swamp. Running from Jack Cox the watchman or running from the book keeper on his white horse. Running through the back to get to St Lawrence to reach the 10 cent pole to save 5cents on Sunday evenings on the way to Sunday School.

    The caretaker of the sluice gate and the gun club lived opposite to me and brought us birds that were shot there.

    But all of these things are irrelevant. LOL

    Half of the area on the Rendezvous side of the banking Rd was filled in with mould in the early 60’s. It was possible to walk through areas that was previously all water and the typical grass that grew there in the 60’s when I went through there on the National Trust walks in the 90/s. By then only one of the two big lakes was left and it was much smaller than in the 60’s.

    As I said before, it is only now that most Bajans have heard about the swamp. So now that folk are keeping noise about the swamp most of the swamp on one side of the now non existent banking Rd is long gone!

    It was impossible to walk across the banking Rd in the usual way as far back as 1977 as it was no longer being maintained.

    Very few went into the area where the gun club was behind the mangroves on the Rendezvous side, which stretched far inland.

    Finally Sargeant the photos that you have seen that has undergone the major face lift is an extremely small area of the section of the swamp on the Rendezvous section of the old banking road behind the houses on highway seven that we knew in our boy days in the fifties and sixties.

    The section on the Rendezvous side has been about decimated.



  • When all is said and done who have the most to lose in saving the remaining wetlands Allard or the people? It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!


  • Call a spade...

    The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is a marvelous asset for this country. We need places like this where children — and their parents — can go to and learn some respect for nature — the birds, the fish and the plants that share the planet with us.

    The post-independent generations in Barbados have no respect for these things. We need to turn that around: it’s not a good thing when people grow up contemptuous of the natural world and are obsessed with the material one.

    We need places like Graeme Hall in Barbados:oases in the midst of densely populated urban areas where we can go and refresh the spirit.

    Peter Allard has created something of beauty here. Regrettably, he is an asshole who does not understand that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. His parting shot on leaving Barbados was to create a childish and mischevious law suit and to hire a lawyer without a shred of integrity to pursue it. The tables have turned. The Canadian courts have recognized this suit for what it is and have dismissed it. Allard and the lawyer will shortly be on the receiving end. More than likely, the lawyer’s career is finished, and it may pay Mr Allard to let Barbados have GH in return for not ramming a law suit up his expansive ass.

    Whatever the outcome, the Government should acquire this property and preserve it for the people of Barbados. Let us not be thin-skinned and vindictive over this: we will lose a wonderful natural asset if we are.


  • Georgie Porgie

    I wont hold my breath.
    The Government cant run a rum shot.
    Things sort of change when idiots are spending some else’s money oe working for government

    I remember the difference in attitude (or was it the protocol) when the Government took over the Progeressive bus company in early 1969. Prior to that when a bus stalled the driver would ask us to get out and push or himself try to do something to get the bus going. And they usually did! After Jan 1969 they said ” Call theyard!”


  • @Call a Spade

    Agree with the last paragraph of your comment.


  • @Call a spade… // May 9, 2010 at 2:43 PM. Agree with it all!!!! Not just the last paragraph. Right on!!!

    @GP. “I wont hold my breath. The Government cant run a rum shot.” Just a typo, I am sure, but it is rum shop. As for running it, I was at Welchman Hall Gully recently and at Andromeda. Both government run and both beautifully run. To run Graeme Hall as a nature reserve is not going to be difficult for government. The area that maybe will not work is the one that floored Allard – the commercial side: weddings and corporate functions and the like. We are a small tropical island, surrounded by the most magnificient beaches and sea. Visitors want to be on those. They do not want to be effectively inland in a swamp admiring a lot of non-indigineous flamingos that are a feature of every nature reserve and every bird sactuary in the countries that they come from, cause the pink. Allard has a strong affection and ties to the Pink.

    I understand that there is a search afoot for Allard the asshole. Call a spade mentioned he had left Barbados. Is this correct? It seems that the Ontario lawyers for Barbados are interested in his whereabouts. So let us use this release from Allard to track him down for our country. PLEASE DO NOT POST HIS ADDRESS!!! Unless it is Seaview – which he himself has already posted on the Internet and placed in public domain. Just indicate the country and state or province that you believe he is in.


  • Question ;Is it Allard responsibility to maintain Barbados wetlands or is it the government? It seems to me that the government has close its eyes to the main issue i.e the “wetland”.


  • @ac. These wetlands comprise but a miniscule percentage of government’s responsibility. What government does have is an over-riding responsibility to Barbados as a whole and its peoples and its status and standing within the international community AS A WHOLE. It does NOT have an over-riding responsibility to ecologists who seem to think that their pet project is more important that the Second Coming (or the First, for that matter) and who, oblivious to massive and sickening human rights abuses, give a highly publicized award to the President of Guyana, lauded and supported by one Lord and one Professor (both assholes) who should know better if they didn’t have their heads firmly planted up their ecological fundaments. I want to know, ac, why you have not commented on that story carried right here on BU, and banged you drum about the state-sanctioned murder and torture of black people in Guyana. Instead of getting yourself excited over the fate of a swamp? I am missing a basic element in BOTH these ecoloogical-based stories – it is called “humanity”, or do a few pretty pink birds take precedence over that these days?

    In any case, Call a Spade, has clearly heard the same drummer that I have about sleazy Allard lawyers about to be disbarred in Ontario over a case where Barbados is defendant. From what I have heard, Allard’s “hedges” against him being implicated himself have all DISAPPEARED!!!!!

    I can take it a step further. With these actions in Canada, every time something is coming up for hearing before the court, Allard’s two mouthpieces, BFP and Keltruth, spout – and so it is today. BFP has spouted and linked to an old Keltruth story. One which a blogger from whom we have not heard in some time, has called “The Exhumation of Muriel Deane”, or words to that effect. So by exhuming the late Muriel Deane from she grave (I think it is in St George) once again, Allard is hoping to deflect interest from the story he and his cohorts must be sure (because I am sure too) that BU is just waiting to hit them with.

    As for poor Kelturh, well they hoping that no body gone sue them and especially since a little bird has told me that it is now proved that lawyer Mckenzie in consultation with Allard was writing all their defamatory blogs.

    This whole lastest Graeme Hall thing is just camoflage and they hope people like you, ac, will follow the red herring and not notice the main event. Well, I am waiting for the main event with great anticipation. I have a feeling it is going to be quite a show. NUFF lawyers going down – and not just in Canada.


  • @ac

    Your argument is sound but the GHNS wetlands issue has become a pawn in big game. Let us hope the game reaches checkmate soon.


  • Amused // May 10, 2010 at 1:26 AM ………. @GP. “I wont hold my breath. The Government cant run a rum shot.” Just a typo, I am sure, but it is rum shop. As for running it, I was at Welchman Hall Gully recently and at Andromeda. Both government run and both beautifully run. ………………

    GP, typo or not, don’t hold your breath.

    Amused, I can’t believe that you went to either of these tourist attractions, Welchman Hall Gully or Andromeda and missed the fact that both of them are Barbados National Trust (BNT) owned ….. BNT is an NGO and NGO stands for Non Governmental Organisation ….. even ROK of the BANGO could tell you that.


  • @GIGO. Who own them? Last I heard they belonged to the Nation. That means the government. Now, where in your tiny brain have you got the idea that the Government is incapable of handing over Graeme Hall to the National Trust? Hello there – anybody home?

    @David. Correct. It was bought as a pawn, maintained as a pawn and continues to be a pawn.



  • Georgie Porgie

    You are correct in that both Andromeda and Welchman Hall Gully are maintained by the National Trust. Andromeda was of course developed by the late Iris Banochie.

    It would be very easy for the National Trust or the Future Center Trust to run and maintain the developed section of the swamp and hold weddings and corporate functions there. However, I dont expect too much of Government. For example Harrisons Cave is not exactly run properly in my view much of the time In contrast many of our tourists attractions that are privately owned are better run and maintained.

    There has been a lot of talk about wet lands and their benefits and the sleuce gate not being opened etc. which I find very amusing

    First I would like to say that there is, and has never been any connection between the St Lawrence side of the swamp ie to the south of the old banking road and the sleuce gate. The sleuce gate only ever affected water entering the long pond on the Rendezvous side of the banking road- never the St Lawrence side.

    It boggles the mind that the sleuce gates opening could have affected the water in both of the large lakes in the old days and extend its influence all the way up to the top of the long pond that run inward almost up to line of Amity Lodge road. Note also that there were massive deaths of fish in some years then, even when the sleuce gate was wekll operated.

    As some have said this swampy talk is all a red herring. Very few Bajans even knew that the swamp existedf until relatively recently, and we lived and moved and had our being. Now I am hearing that we can not live with out the swamp? When I was last in Bim there were many areas that apeared to me to be run down and not at all in thier pristine glory as they were once maintained. One of them was the whole stretch through St Lawrence and Worthing and Worthing View.


  • Amused

    You must be mistaken.

    Here is the website of the Barbados National Trust where you can view the properties operated by the Barbados National Trust.

    You must visit some more of them besides the two you found so wonderful.

    I am pretty sure Welchman Hall Gully is owned by the Barbados National Trust, in fact, the Welchman Hall Gully site says it has been owned by the Barbados National Trust for close to a half century.

    I remember at an AGM of the Trust that it was decided to contract out the day to day running of Andromeda as the Trust was not able to fund the many properties it owned and/or operated.

    I know the Government of Barbados provides a stipend to the Barbados National Trust but usually hear the Barbados National Trust described as an NGO ….. once again …. Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) …. for in excess of 15 years.

    Andromeda provides not only a wonderful site for tourists to visit, but as the site indicates, a means for serious research.

    I note that this research is funded by The Peter Moores Foundation, a source of philanthropic funds.

    Here is a link to its website.

    As can be seen, Barbados figures prominently in its activities. You can read about Peter Moores involvement with Andromeda Gardens on this site.


  • Georgie Porgie


    Is the Peter Moores Foundation still involved in the project at Cambridge St Joseph relands for sheep and other livestock husbandry

    GIGO you must be patient man. Most folk in Bim dont have a clus what goes on in Bim. Many folk who come here to opine do so without real knowledge or research about what they speak


  • @Amused
    First of all I am a Barbadian and have chosen to concern my self with the enviromental side of this issue. As far as things that go on in other neighbouring island their is enough said in the media daily pertaining to those issues and very littl
    pertaining to the enviroment. Just look at the response here nobody really cares. So what if one or two care about a little old swamp which is natures way of helping the enviroment. That isn’t even a drop in the bucket to the overwhelming who speak on other issues. Laws that are meant to protect the enviroment I guess they apply to Barbados as well or maybe only when it is convinient for the government to do so.
    I am really not concerned about the matter Allard vs, Barbados. Like I said before that matter is up to the courts.My only concern is about the stability of the wetlands
    You guys can fight the court battle if you choose to . Far beit for me to tell you how or what to do.


  • I find it hilarious that the some of the people who are so quick to quote the scriptures do even seem able to connect the dots between the enviroment and the bible. They need to read the story of Genesis starting with the first chapter.


  • The late Iris Bannochie left Andromeda to…….The Nation! It is not the property of the National Trust. Check it out. I did.


  • I still find it amazing the lack of interest displayed in the awarding of this international award to the president of Guyana. It would be like Hitler being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. People are being killed and brutalized in Guyana and yet international focus, until Mr Obama spoke up, has been on Guyana’s president’s ecological contribution.

    The reputation of Barbados is being dragged through the mud by Allard in order to further his aspirations to own a very large chunk of our land and to profit therefrom and every time he gets called to book, up pops the Graeme Hall issue as cover and, instead of someone who resorts to gutter tactics, he is upheld as being a “philthropist” by the self-same ecologists. Our government has refused to treat with him. Not one of the ecological lot has bothered to ask WHY.

    I don’t like the message that all this sends – a message from the ecology lobby. That message is that you can do what you like, as long as you support ecology. Well, I am a Bajan too and I do not like that message at all. Nor should any Bajan.

    So, let us hear from the Bajan ecological lobby on the award to the President of Guyana. Where do you stand on that? Enlighten us.


  • Read Genesis 1 again.
    It is an account of the creation of the world, not a treatise on maintaining the environment or wet lands in Barbados. The wet lands at Graham Hall are quite insignificant. If you like like them good. If others dont, they have a right to opine.

    Do you know the area well or at all? You are just making an ass of yourself. As usual GP, seems to know what he is saying about the area. Not once has he said not to have the reserve. All he has done is informed me (at least) about an area that he obviously knows or knew well or had some involvement with, including when he contributed at the FTC in its early days.


  • @ amused
    When people make agreements . They ought to live by them. No one can drag your reputation in the mud unless you give them permission to do so. What Allard knows by the government is only that which the government allowed him to know by making agrrements.People who usually degrade each other have been friends or associates at some time. When all is said and done they would be friends again Money talk bullsh..t walk.


  • @Susan
    Talk to your friends ! You are a misinformed mouthpiece. Your take on religion is just as misinformed as your comment on the wetlands. Stick to your religious diatrabeand leave the other issues for those of which they speak. Do you understand the significance of the wetlands to humans.Adios!


  • GP

    Last time I heard, it was a while ago, the Peter Moores Foundation was involved in the Cambridge project but my gut looking at the land last time I was in the area was that it was either a diminished involvement or the involvement of Bajan small farmers had subsided.

    I really do not know.

    I am not really that patient a person as the handle I chose to deal with Amused would show!!

    I know that besides the philanthropic input of this foundation, the Barbados National Trust receives very significant volunteer support in achieving its mandate in Barbados.

    It was disappointing to watch Amused belittle the significant effort of many rank and file Bajans and world citizens by completely ignoring their and the Trust’s effort in Barbados.

    It may be as a result of a total lack of knowledge but he/she could really have done better …. or just kept quiet and not demonstrated his/her total lack of knowledge.

    The effort to keep these properties running is probably not quantifiable in dollar terms.

    The Barbados Government does provide funds to the Trust but my bet is these funds are but a drop in the bucket.

    Next time I come across the financial statements I will quantify but I am pretty sure they will be available to the pubic as I suspect the Trust may be a not for profit organisation.

    Maybe another Trust member could quantify Government’s subvention to the Trust. There are 1500 plus members from all around the world.


  • Amused // May 10, 2010 at 5:03 PM ……..The late Iris Bannochie left Andromeda to…….The Nation! It is not the property of the National Trust. Check it out. I did…..

    Check this link for a history of the gardens.


  • Georgie Porgie

    I know of what you speak concerning Welchman Hall Gully, the National trust and the Peter Mores Foundation.

    Maybe you are new to BU, but striving for accuracy is not the norm here. It is maily about emotional sounding off. Enjoy your stay.

    Susan you can take comfort in the knowlege that hundreds of Bible scholars and theologians share your opinion about Genesis 1. I wrote my DMin thesis on the book of Genesis, and had to submit 50 references before I started. The best of the best state that Genesis 1-2 is one of the passges that describe the creation.

    None of these passages deal with maintaining the environment or wet lands as a proper exegesis of the text in Hebrew will clearly indicate.

    Having given inferior dental, one must often exercise a certain degree of patience..


  • Genesis 2 Vs. 15.key words Cultivate and Guard! Now go to your dictionary and find the meaning.


  • GIGO // May 10, 2010 at 5:47 PM Check Mrs Bannochie’s Will.


  • Susan // May 10, 2010 at 5:20 PM. Excellent and I agree completely. I too remember Graeme Hall from a LONG time ago.

    ac // May 10, 2010 at 5:28 PM. What agreement? Show me an agreement between Government and Allard. Do not insult my intellegence by telling me no shite about RAMSAR. SHOW ME AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS AND PETER ALLARD!! There is none. There is no contract, no joint venture agreement – NADA!!! If there is, POST IT HERE!!! Otherwise stop wasting people’s time with a lot of misinformation.

    ac // May 10, 2010 at 5:34 PM. You like you must be the alter ego of Allard the Ass. Susan did not raise the issue of Genesis, she corrected a piece of misinformation like what you are trying to push pon people. She suggested that you re-read and not rely on your clearly conveniently-flawed memory.

    GIGO // May 10, 2010 at 5:36 PM. “I am not really that patient a person as the handle I chose to deal with Amused would show!!” And what “handle” would that be?

    But seriously, do you think that this ecological story comes anywhere close to the tragedy that is happening in the ecological story in Guyana? Do you not think you should be registering your feelings on that, instead of us giving so much time and thought to Allard the Asshole? What is wrong with people? Not even a mention of that. Instead, a lot of gabble about that work of fiction known as the Book of Genesis. You have 10 Commandments, each and every one of which is being broken by the Guyana Government – and wunnah talking bout Genesis.


  • @Amused
    You can shout all you can and it is people like you who see no significance in any thing that is agreed upon. I told you before that the government role in maintaining the wetlands is crucial and Allard is not the government with or without an agreement. I do not look for your approval on this issue as to you it is all political. You can continue to shout all you wish. I will continue to defend the enviroment.


  • Amused

    Here is the high court decision in the matter of the will of Iris Bannochie

    and here is information on the Government subvention to the National Trust by the Government of Barbados.

    “NGOs involved in environmental and heritage conservation receive total annual subventions of BDS$450,000 (US$225,000). The Caribbean Conservation Association (CCA), a regional NGO, receives a subvention of BDS$15,000 annually, as well as office accommodation and tax concessions on equipment. The Barbados Museum and Historical Society receives an annual subvention of BDS$360,000. The Barbados National Trust receives an annual subvention of BDS$75,000. In addition, for 1995-1996, the Barbados National Trust (BNT) received BDS$600,000 for a special restoration project.”

    Might be different now as the report was dated 1997.

    Once again, FYI, NGO …… Non Govermental Organisation.

    It is not a BINGO, DONGO, GONGO, MANGO or even a QANGO ……… just a plain simple NGO …… Non Governmental Organisation.


  • Amused

    The relevant paragraph in the will is:

    “I give my property called “Andromeda” being a dwellinghouse and the lands theretoattached and enjoyed therewith situate in the parish of St. Joseph on Beachmont Hill,Bathsheba, in this Island containing by estimation eight and a half acres, unto my trustees intrust for my husband, John Mackie Bannochie, during his lifetime, and upon his death orupon any intimation from him during his lifetime that he no longer desires to live atAndromeda UPON TRUST to offer the same to the Barbados National Trust provided thatthe said National Trust has not become an arm of the Barbados Government and is notcontrolled by the Barbados Government upon and subject to the following terms andconditions…”


  • There is a reason why areas like the greame hall and chancery lane wetlands are there, in time we would regret destroying them, our offspring are going to blame us for much shortsightedness bur alas it is going to be too late.


  • Mr Scout

    How would you define wetland?
    How are wet lands formed or destroyed?
    Pray tell what is the reason that the greame hall and chancery lane wetlands are there?
    How were they formed and maintained or preserved all along? By whom?
    Why did this small group of people stopped looking after these wetlands that they apparently created?

    My understanding is that the mangroves at Chancery Lane are gone. Why is this so?

    How were the lakes and mangroves at Graeme Hall maintained in the days of their former glory? By whom? For what purpose?.

    How are natural mangrove areas or forests formed? What is their role in places where they exist.
    How was the relatively small patch of mangroves at Graham Hall formed?
    How is it different to other mangrove areas e.g the Caroni Swamp lands in Trinidad?
    And why was it maintained as it was in the days of its former glory? By whom? Why did they stop?

    Who really cared for the swamp in its former glory long before Allard?
    Why did the area of the swamp on the Rendexvous or Worthing side of the old time banking road decline and much of that area become ordinary scrub land?

    Leave Allard out of the equation. And just get some one to accurately and truthfilly answer these questions and you will be surprised.

    What is ironical is that few Bajans even knew of the presence of the swamp pre Allard, and that only Allard, for what ever reason saw any good in the swamp. He developed a very small section in the late 90’s and following into something that is not a natural mangrove swamp or wet land, that was great for viewing etc.

    BTW while we are bawling about a small spot in Barbados that no longer really functions as it did, what are we saying and doing about the miles of gullies in Barbados that are no longer maintained as our ancestors did (except Welchman Hall which has been preserved by the National Trust since 1961 I think, and was lovingly cared for by a dear old man from the Vault Rd, Welchman Hall- now deceased.)

    Does the average Bajan know what was the role of the gullies? And that Bay leaf plants can still be found in Pool Gully?.


  • See page 3 of today’s Advocate May 11, 2010 and read comments by Dr. Keith Nurse, Director of the Sir Shridath Ramphal Centre @ UWI Cave Hill.

    “Contrary to popular belief, heritage tourism is not just about built tourist heritage, but also includes natural heritage, traditional knowledge and popular culture” .

    The Barbados Physical Development Plan 2003 Amended designates both Graeme Hall (private as well as publicly owned areas) and Chancery Lane/Long Beach swamp as Natural Heritage Conservation Areas. It really is amazing that the local authorities put substantial efforts into giving these areas this protective designation but then allow the areas to be threatened by the possibility of inappropriate development and wanton neglect of the very obligations they imposed by the said designation.

    Georgie Porgie, prior to Government’s ownership of Graeme Hall Plantation the sluice gate was maintained and managed by the private owners to allow excess water to flow out and sea water to flow in at the 4 -5 times a year when the tide is high enough.

    This has ceased as the gate has not functioned for over 5 years and from a strictly flood control point of view this could have devastating consequences for residents, businesses, hotels etc in the area, in the event of intense and heavy rainfall. One wonders what Parliamentary Representative for the area Mr. John Boyce will have to say when his constituents are flooded out. It really only is a matter of time.


  • @Gigo. I stand corrected. But how many government-owned properties are administered by the National Trust? Some, I think. But maybe Government ought to make a gift of Graeme Hall to the National Trust – or maybe me is billionaire philanthropist Allard should, since he has clearly lost the ability to administer and run it. Ever thought of that? Then there would be no question of anyone building on it and government, with the departure of Allard, might even be moved to chip in a little money AND fix the sluice gate. So Allard gets his wish to not be involved and the ecologists have the National Trust looking after things, even the pink non-ingigenous ones. Seems to me like a plan.


  • Georgie Porgie

    Yes Nostradamus
    Georgie Porgie, prior to Government’s ownership of Graeme Hall Plantation the sluice gate was maintained and managed by the private owners to allow excess water to flow out and sea water to flow in at the 4 -5 times a year when the tide is high enough.

    The man who controlled the gate in the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s until the gun club closed was my neighbour. It would be interesting to learn who developed the gate, when and why?


  • Georgie Porgie, the ARA Consulting Group Study has some historical information and indicates that 3 sluice gates were constructed in 1920 and the central embankment in 1947. See the link below for part 1 “Graeme hall Swamp Today which some historical info.

    Part 2 can be found here:


  • Georgie Porgie

    Thanks Nostradamus


  • Here is an excerpt from my short story on the swamp that I wrote for a friend’s literary website in 2002. I might have published it on BU before about two years ago.

    Going to school by the swamp

    We were late for school again because we had been tardy with our morning chores. Since we could not make the two mile trek to school in time if we walked on the “front road”, we decided to take a short cut through Graham Hall swamp, the largest piece of swamp land still remaining in Barbados.

    In those days there was a well maintained marl filled “banking road” which connected the inland sugar fields and potato and yam patches to the main high way beside the sea. On either side of this path were silent pools of water which caressed the buttress roots of the mangroves which sheltered them from the rays of the burning morning sun.

    These rectangular pools outlined by coats of sedge plants were man made drainage ducts I was later taught by the late Captain Maurice Bateman Hutt, who “taught” History at Harrison College for many years. He had the singular ability to make little boys (in a Barbados with a mere fraction of the motor vehicles we have to day) make places like River Bay and anywhere in St Lucy sound very, very, very far away. Captain Hutt was a lover of the swamp and could often be seen striding among its wild flora.

    Graham Hall swamp in those days had two large “lakes” surrounded by both red and white mangroves. These plants are one of six species, and can grow as high as 35 ft. Beside their beautiful green foliage, they are characterized by their lovely prop, or stilt, or buttress roots which sometimes come from 10-15 feet up and grow downwards to form a mass of support in the muddy, salty brackish waters below, in which they thrive best. Little fish frolicked around these roots, and crustaceans crawled cautiously but contentedly over them or hustled hurriedly when threatened playfully by their colleagues, or by unfamiliar sounds, such as the pitter patter of little feet of little lads late for school.

    Migrating birds from North America rested, or nested in the tops of the foliage of the mangrove. At the peak of the migratory season they risked being shot in the early mornings or late evenings by members of the gun club in the nearby lake, behind the cluster of mangroves. The wooden club house with its thatched roof was perched on stilts of planks made from sturdy trees. We had often been there with our neighbor and play mate Angela, the grand daughter of the club’s watchman. She, like these birds, migrated to the States many moons ago.

    Often, as was the case this October morning, when there was a torrential down pour of rain, there would be pools of water in the banking road, created by the gnawing teeth of myriad mighty drops of poring rain excavating its marl filled structure. In several spots these pools would coalesce in such a way to make our passage most difficult and sometimes impossible. We would respond by taking our socks and shoes from our feet and wade through the sticky muddy puddles being extremely certain not to get our khaki shorts splattered. Getting to school late was greeted by a “cut tail”; so too were pants painted with muddy goo from Graham Hall Swamp. In the dry season going through the swamp was a piece of cake, but in the rainy season it could be an adventure!

    Our trek across the banking road in Graham Hall Swamp led us to St Lawrence Boys school which looked out up a short gap to Highway seven. From the back door of the wooden building of those days, one had a lovely view of part of the swamp, and beyond to part of the wooded area below that section of the Christ Church ridge. In those days we had some strict teachers who were not afraid or tardy to lash errant boys. Some times they even shared “in case licks” to known offenders just in case, and even long before they transgressed. There was the short, solid Miss Lynch, a left hander who could wield the side of a thick ruler with amazing accuracy so that it descended on the same spot of the backside of a lazy lad. I spent two terms in her class two, and one in class three taught by a Miss Forde, who in retrospect, didn’t look like she was missing anything. At age eight I had advanced to class four taught by a Mr Harris, nicknamed “Harry”, “Harry Belafonte” or “Snow Top” since his white hoary head reminded us of the pictures we had seen in books (not tv-we didn’t have tv yet) of snow covered mountains.

    I remember my primary school days at St Lawrence fondly. I used to laugh as the others got whipped for not knowing their tables, or for poor spelling, or for inability to do their “sums.” I was paid by the boys who sat besides me in “rock cakes” currency, so that they could peep at my exercise book, and thus avert an attack on their backs or bottoms with thick leather strap or tamarind rod as a persuasion to learn. I never had to learn by such ruthless methods. I some how fooled them that I was a “bright” boy, and so I escaped.

    Many boys who attended St Lawrence School- mainly those from the immediate area- were very good long jumpers. They obtained their prowess from “jumping swamps”. That is jumping across the several man made pools that ran at right angles to the long pools spoken of above that were connected to the lakes, and from time to time with the sea when the sleuce gate was opened periodically at low tide. Sometimes, however, they were soft spots hidden in the sedges at the periphery. The result is that these swamp jumpers would end up in the water in fear, because of the circulating myth that the swamp had “quick sands.”


  • Amused // May 11, 2010 at 1:12 PM @Gigo. I stand corrected…

    Good for you!!

    However, you also stand exposed.

    You and the truth are strangers.


  • @ Amused: But how many government-owned properties are administered by the National Trust? Some, I think.

    I don’t think any are any but perhaps I am wrong. These nine properties are the ones listed on the National Trust website. I am pretty sure none are owned by the GOB.

    Andromeda Botanic Gardens
    The Arbib Nature & Heritage Trail
    Gun Hill Signal Station
    Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill
    The Sir Frank Hutson Sugar Museum and Factory
    The Bridgetown Synagogue
    Tyrol Cot Heritage Village
    Welchman Hall Gully
    Wildey House

    The Trust also conducts an Open House program every Wednesday as a means to raise funds for its operations.

    ST. ANN’S FORT and DRILL HALL, St Michael is the only one that stands out in the list on the Trust website as being owned by the GOB.

    The Trust is a not for profit organization, but the properties as a whole, need to at least break even and should produce sufficient surplus for reinvestment in them otherwise they will decay.

    Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill for example, a world heritage site, was struck by lightning and is undergoing major repairs. Again, the role philanthropy plays in raising the funds to repair it is evident for those who care to look. In the thick of the work you will find the volunteers who freely give of their time and expertise.

    My gut feel is that the Barbados National Trust which depends to a large extent on philanthropic input both financial and through its many volunteers might be stretched to breaking point were it to take on the running of the Nature Sanctuary.

    You need to compare the effort of the Barbados National Trust with limited financial resources with the GOB which just invested $85 million in Harrison Cave. This is run by a statutory corporation, funded by GOB, Caves of Barbados Ltd.

    I understand Peter Allard has $35 million invested in The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

    Both these numbers seem out of reach for the Barbados National Trust. It accepted $600,000.00 from the GOB at the time Tyrol Cot was acquired.

    You need also to bear in mind that the directors of the National Trust in accepting GOB subventions and appearing to be controlled by the GOB could be constrained by the will of Iris Bannochie which states as a condition on the offer of Andromeda Gardens “provided that the said National Trust has not become an arm of the Barbados Government and is not controlled by the Barbados Government.


  • @ Amused: But maybe Government ought to make a gift of Graeme Hall to the National Trust – or maybe me is billionaire philanthropist Allard should, since he has clearly lost the ability to administer and run it. Ever thought of that? Then there would be no question of anyone building on it and government, with the departure of Allard, might even be moved to chip in a little money AND fix the sluice gate. So Allard gets his wish to not be involved and the ecologists have the National Trust looking after things, even the pink non-ingigenous ones. Seems to me like a plan. Then there would be no question of anyone building on it and government, with the departure of Allard, might even be moved to chip in a little money AND fix the sluice gate. So Allard gets his wish to not be involved and the ecologists have the National Trust looking after things, even the pink non-ingigenous ones. Seems to me like a plan.

    You missed the simple point of the 800 page report.

    By not fixing the sluice gate the outflow of the freshwater is stopped.

    The salinity of the water in the swamp falls as freshwater enters from rainfall in the 1100 acre catchment.

    This provides the basis for the overpowering of the mangroves by species which thrive in the changed environment.

    Result: Nobody, not the National Trust, not Allard, nobody, will benefit from what remains of the swamp.

    I hope you are not suggesting that the GOB is purposely not fixing the sluice gate to achieve this aim.

    It certainly seems you are, and the observable facts would lead anyone to reach the same conclusion ….. as you have clearly reached.


  • To be quite honest, I have far better things to do with my time and I have not read the Allard generated and, no doubt, paid for, 800 pages of what is almost certainly very slanted opinion – dare one say “propoganda”. I leave that to people like David “Goebels” (or is it “Noballs”) Speiler. What concerns me is the sovereignty and protection of the reputation of my country and its institutions. If I ran the government, I can tell you now that I would refuse to treat with Peter Allard on anything. To not deal with him places the fate of 35 acres of mangoves etc. at risk, sure. To deal with him places our very way of life, laws, institutions and international reputation at risk. He has to go down (and by “go down” I specify that I mean to defeat non violently and with absolutely no damage to his person or property) for the good of the people of Barbados. P E O P L E. If that means that a few mangroves bite the dust, so be it. Sad, but, as Cromwell said as he saw the headless body of Charles I outside the Banquetting Hall at the Palace of Whitehall (now the British parliament), “Cruel necessiity.”

    Now watch Allard’s pet blogs go and lie to WordPress and say that I suggested something violent gainst poor little Petey.


  • Georgie Porgie


    I have to agree with you.
    I can not think of when there was ever 35 acres of mangroves at the swamp. Not even in its most glorious gun club days, when the mangroves grew in gay abandon. 35 acres?

    I dont know what the hullabalu is all about.


  • Amused // May 12, 2010 at 1:51 PM ……. To be quite honest …….

    Your use of the word honest seems a bit incongruous given your past performance.

    Peter Allard has nothing to do with the loss of reputation of our country or any of the other things that appear to bother you.

    I suspect you have not been living in Barbados much of late and don’t have a clue as to what has been going on.


  • The difference between us, Gigo, is I have the great advantage of knowing precisely what is going on – and everybody else will soon as well. Hang in there for a while and even you will know. Unless, of course, you already know and are indulging in a hopeful, but soon to be frustrated, cover up. Whenever anyone from the Allard camp talks about truth, I get just a little suspicious as to motive and I have never yet been wrong. To be suspicious, that is.


  • It is amazing how religious zealots can be so nonchalent about the world and all that dwell therein when it comes to nature apparently they donot have much respect for the creator.If according to them this is not “Evolution” but is “Creation’.
    I think they would have a voice in protecting its survival! Wouldn’t that be the thing to do? ALL things bright and beautiful .All creatures great and small. The Creator made them all. Where is the church when it comes to matters concerning the enviroment. So far I only hear them speaking about matters concerning the soul which inturn is converted into dollars for the church.


  • Seems like the good Doctor knows more than biochem and religion as he often preaches, he is now an authority on our disputed swamplands…lol.


  • David you are being a naughty boy here lol.

    Whereas I am not an authority on mangove swamps or forests, I can speak without contradiction on what I observed over a period of 50 years or so.

    I can speak with the background of what I understand about the development of the mangoves (since it is clear that the mangroves in the swamp dont seem to have been naturally developed) but their presence were introduced by folk who used them for thier leisure.

    Note that I do care about our environment and that I was one of the founding members of the FCT and gave much time and effort in the early days of that organization.

    I know the swamp fairly well, as I spent lots of time walking through it, and observing its demise as it was when I first visited the gun club with my neigbour in 59, as compared to say 77 or 94 and 98 when I led Stop N Stare walks through it. I also used to run on the road and tracts that circumvents the part of the wet lands that are composed mostly of sedge grasses.

    With a little knowledge of Botany (from A level days) and a little research on development of mangroves, and a little knowledge of the history of why the Worthing View/Rendezvous section was maintained in its glory days or its neglect, there after, and having observed its state at the end of the last decade, and two years ago, I think that I can offer a reasonable opinion on the issue.

    If you read my short essay and posts above, you will see that I have an intimate knowledge of the swamp and a love for it. I rejoiced to see the development of the small section that was worked on. But that is a very small section of swamp.

    It will cost a very great deal of money, and time and expertise to bring the swamp to what I knew it to be, far less to duplicate and maintain the level of develoment that was attained under the watch of the current owners.

    You will find in my posts above, that my opinion is coherent, logical, and based on both a personal and science knowledge base that I understand. I am not shooting from the hip or cutting and pasting information that I do not comprehend


  • David
    Pemit me to quote Colvin on this issue. lol

    The process of understanding past events and assimilating new information stimulates the brain’s reflective muscle. The brain makes connections with information, especially when it is personally relevant. Drawing on tacit knowledge leads to new understandingand, thus, to new learning.


  • @ac // May 13, 2010 at 6:42 PM. “ALL things bright and beautiful .All creatures great and small. The Creator made them all.”

    It is also said, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.” Like the dinasaur. When evolution is finished with us, we go – as will mankind. So, if the swamp has had its day, let it go in peace. And in a few tens of thousands of years time, scientists (or whatever the future equivalent is) will be pouring over the fosilized remains of Peter Allard and then painting them with resin (or whatever the future equivalent is) and displaying him in a museum, probably with a plaque that reads “Homo Non Erectus”, or sexually-challenged buller. Who knows? And will we, or the people who dig us up, care that much? I mean, I know there are people who go to, let us say, London. Mostly, they make a dash for Soho and other places that offer live entertainments. Very few have as their top priority a visit to the Natural History Museum (which is free, by the way) so that they can boast to their friends when they get home asaur in London. Do you seriously think people are rushing to Barbados to see a Nature Sanctuary? No sir. Jolly Roger, or equivalent, is what they boast about – or deep sea diving and fishing – aquatic pastimes involving liquid consumption and a good tan.

    So, despite the unsupported (and unsupportable) rubbish spouted by GHNS about eco-tourism, the fact is that our tourism is not about eco, but about sand, sea, sun and sex. That is what provides the country with the income to employ and support us. So let us keep our eye on the ball. And if evolution has decreed that the swamp has had its day, let us let it go, along with Allard.


  • @Amused
    Isee you are a non-intelectual on about almost ever issue.I am not impressed.
    Keep trying maybe one day you will get it right.

    To those who do not understand the value of the wetlands to humans. I say that they ought to do research on the topic before they attempt to demean others. As far as i am concerned they splishy splash knowledge i will take with a grain of salt.


  • Amused

    You are indeed correct about the nature of our Tourism. Whereas a Nature Sanctuary might appeal to those who enjoy such, many are more interested as you say in aquatic pastimes involving liquid consumption and a good tan.

    It is also true that our tourism is about sand, sea, sun and sex rather than ecotourism- although some are trying to develop such along with heritage tourism.

    We are a small country with few if any ecosystems of interest, besides the gullies, which we habe not maintained or developed (with the exception of Welchman Hall).

    I also agree that the unsupported (and unsupportable) rubbish spouted by GHNS about eco-tourism is largely bovine effluent, as is it is clear that the area of sedge is of little interst to anyone.

    I guess real estate developers might dig up the sedge and create a retention pond type lake, and build houses on the ridhe looking down there upon—similar to what obtains in Florida. Although I am not sure they will get the same effect

    The mangroves are clearly not natural in origin , unless they wre there before construction of St Lawence Gap (which has isolated “the stream” from Worthing beach ) or before the constructin of Highway 7 from the swamp.

    The only person I have ever seen walking and enjoying the swamp in its pristine glory was my late History teacher at HC, Captain MB Hutt. The late Dr Colin Hudson had an interest in the swamp also.

    After the gun club was discontinued, the shooters used thier knowledge and have tried to establish other mangrove areas elsewhere to facilitate thier “sport”.

    The birds that used to nest in the swamp during thier annual migration, have now for years done so in trees near Crab Hill Police Station, where I have myself seen them like a white blanket at nights.


  • Think about this.

    Discovery Bay hotel in Holetown was built on a swamp.

    There is no reason Graeme Hall swamp could not become
    a Hotel,Resort or Condo developement.

    That is why I have always thought that the “end game plan” was to
    create a resort when the land value could support such an investment.

    I would like the Government to buy the GHNS and let nature take its course
    with a little help to connect the swamp to the sea so fish like Tarpon, snook and
    mullets can reproduce.


  • Call a spade...


    I would question your assumption that the mangroves at Graeme Hall are not natural in origin. This would suggest that they were man-made, with the intention of creating a shooting-swamp. I would suggest that the shooters took advantage of what was already there, and in fact cleared out sections to create the large ponds used to attact migratory birds. There were at least three shooting-swamps that were in there. Graeme Hall was the largest, and was located approximately where the large lake is now. You entered from approximately where the official entrance is now. Towards the Rendezvous end, there were was Worthing- View and Bunyans. The entrance to these was off Rendezvous, roughly across from where Big B is now. The birds you speak of that now nest in trees at Crab Hill are egrets that have colonized the island within the last 30 years or so. They are not the migratory birds that the shooting-swamps, with their open, shallow ponds, were built to attract. Those birds are waders and waterfowl; they don’t nest in trees.
    Graeme Hall can never be restored to its original state.
    But what is there now is worth preserving. It is infinitely more valuable to our country than another condominium.


  • @ac // May 15, 2010 at 5:08 AM . If you are not impressed by me, read Georgie Porgie, Hants and Call a Spade. Three erudite and very well informed gentlemen. That way, you don’t need to put up with me putting a kink in you truss. All three have made excellent contributions. And I too remember the swamp with Captain Hutt walking though it. I also remember the gun club.

    I adopt the view of Call a Spade where he/she says, “But what is there now is worth preserving. It is infinitely more valuable to our country than another condominium.” But, with a couple of caveat. 1. No Allard. 2. No Heaslet. 3. Barbados and Bajans, not eco matters, comes first – if it don’t work for Barbados, build the condominium.


  • Georgie Porgie

    Call a spade

    You may question my assumption that the mangroves at Graeme Hall are not natural in origin. I believe that they might have been induced to grow with the intention of creating a shooting-swamp, as has been done in other parts of the island.

    You might be correct that the shooters took advantage of what was already there, and in fact cleared out sections to create the large ponds used to attact migratory birds. This might be true, but your view does not support the need for the sleuce gate.

    I think you correct in saying that there were at least three shallow lakes that were used for the shooting and that the largest was located approximately where the large lake is now. The others have been filled in.

    You entered from approximately where the official entrance is now, just as you say, or via the banking road. Access from the banking road was by one of three concrete slabs that stretched from the banking road towards the land mass on the Rendezvous side.
    It is noteworthy that all of these shallow lakes dried up completely in a drought of some sort in the early 60’s.

    Thanks for your correction about the egrets. I note that you say that they have colonized the island within the last 30 years or so. They were part of the birds that migrated in the old days. At least they were found in the swamp in those days.

    I note that you agree with me to some extent that the shooting-swamps, with their open, shallow ponds, were man made to a large extent- especially the sleuce gates.

    I agree with you that Graeme Hall can never be restored to its original state, that what remains now is worth preserving. As to whether it is infinitely more valuable to our country than another condominium will always be a point of debate.

    Your post clearly indicates that you know a lot about the swamp and its history.


    On the basis of the fact that Discovery Bay hotel in Holetown was built on a swamp, and the way I see them build on similar terrain here in Florida, you are correct in opining that there is no reason Graeme Hall swamp could not become a Hotel,Resort or Condo developement, complete with a few man made lakes as the wet lands

    I am sure that well developed lakes properly landscaped will be more beautiful to behold than the acres of unsighltly sedge behind St Lawrence village .


  • Georgie Porgie


    May I give you a word of advice about responding to emotional, ignorant uneducated posted that I find most helpful?

    In cricketing terms; remember “you dont have to play at every ball! LOL and Biblically, one must always decide if to answer the class 1 fool or the class 2 fool as defined in Proverbs 26:3 &4 thus

    Verse 3 seems to suggest that some are both asses and fools simultaneously.
    3. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.

    4. Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

    5. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

    Hope this helps. Dont waste time with morons man. They have an agenda; and it is not to inform or to learn.

    Now watch and see what I mean.


  • @Amused
    I don’t have to prove anything to you or anyone most of what i have posted is factual about the wetlands .Now those who would like to dispute it have to question the biologist and others who see the wetlands as a necessary source for mankind. For one to suggest that those mangroves were not orginal makes me want to question their sanity!


  • Amused
    Note the use of the verse for class 2 fools (Note that a class 1 fool can be a class 2 fool simultaneously.)

    Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

    For those without betzpaenia note…..

    Botany is a biological subject as well as Zoology, Animal Physiology etc. The author is well versed in all these from teen age days.

    The reason for buiding the sleuce gate was to bring salt water in land so that the necessary saline environment or pH would be provided so that the mangroves could grow. With out the sleuce gate’s construction there would be no mangroves. The mangroves exist because they were cultivated by persons with the necessary Botanical knowledge, and funds to bring salt water to the area where they sought to cultivate the mangroves for thier purposes.

    They have subsequently started a similar mangrove patch in another area to shoot at migratory birds. Mangroves grow besides the sea coasts, and at the end of streams and rivers near coasts because they must have salt for thier growth..

    The reasons there are no mangoves; and was never any mangoves far inland at Graeme Hall was that there was never any water of the correct salinity.

    The reason that there is mangroves closer to the sea is because salt water was delivered via the sleuce gate. The reason why the mangroves that lived beside the St Lawrence stream have declined is because the pH of the water is not what is required.

    The reason that the mangroves at Graeme Hall are dying is because the sleuce gate is dysfuntional.

    The reason that there are no mangroves in the several acres of sedges which form the bulk of the swamp is because this land has never come into contact with the required sea water at any time; they have not ever been bathed in saline water.

    Here again I have been force to give inferior dental.


  • Call a spade...


    In the late 1950s and early 1960s I went to Graeme Hall swamp regularly in the mornings during shooting season: July 15 to October 15. My father and uncle were members. I been to many shooting-swamps in the island. There is absolutely no need for mangroves or brackish water in order to establish the shallow ponds or “trays” as they are called that you find in shooting-swamps. It would take years to establish them, which is why I question your assumption that they were man-made. It might well be that the mangroves extended right to the beach in olden days. When the coast line gave way to buildings and the main road, the sleuce gate may have been installed to allow in salt water and therefore preserve what mangroves were left on the inland side of the road. The white egrets were not around when I went to Graeme Hall. Perhaps one of two, but not in the numbers we see today. I believe Dr. Karl Watson will bear me out. As a matter of fact, there were no ramier pigeons either. They have only begun to flourish here in the past few decades.


  • Spade
    Whereas it is true that there is no need for mangroves or brackish water in order to establish the shallow ponds or “trays” as they are called that you find in shooting-swamps, mangroves require salty water to grow. You can research this basic scientific(botanical fact online.).

    It can indeed take years to establish a mangrove forest, but as you know the extent of the mangroves in the 60’s might suggest that they were at least 2-3 decades old. The size of the mangrove in those days seem to be in keeping with the period the establishment of the sleuce gate and the extent of the mangroves in our time, according to what I have been able to glean in my research.

    Of course I do not know for sure. But my opinion is reasonable on the basis of our observations bacl then and my reading..

    I do agree with you that the white egrets were not around the numbers we see today; but there were a few around.

    Thanks for your kind and informed opinion.


  • ac // May 15, 2010 at 9:41 PM. You have proved the point of Georgie Porgie // May 15, 2010 at 4:58 PM. The symmetry is perfect. From GP’s mouth (metaphorical) straight to you. And you confirm every single prophecy of GP.

    @GP. I KNOW you are right in your advice. By I too have experience with equine-type animals. In my case, MULES. In the case of mules, the Bible did not specifically rule out the use of cattle prods, a metaphorical device I find extremely helpful with mules of the two legged variety (got to put in “metaphorical, otherwise Dave “Noballs” Speiler gone complain fuh muh pun he new website). And, deed faith, I am a weak and feeble man and I cannot resist, even though I know I should. SO……

    @ac. So, it is disputed that the mangroves are original. Certain writers have argued that they were created during their living memory. You are relying on a report commissioned by Peter Allard in Florida of which the main feature seems to be its mind-numbing length, repetition and utter banality.

    So far as we know, those claiming that the mangroves are not original are also supporting (as far as possible provided it does not adversely affect Barbados, its sovereignty and its way of life) their preservation. So it is CRYSTAL CLEAR, even to mules, that they have no axe to grind and are actually seeing the big picture, rather than taking on the Allard-slanted shite in his exhausting report.

    Allard, on the other hand, has sunk millions of dollars into a commercial venture that has, frankly, FAILED and he is now seeking to recoup his money by frivolous actions in the CANADIAN courts. Therefore, you dipstick, the rules of evidence require that an independent report be provided, not one that possibly says what Allard wants it to say.

    But why bother? It is Barbados’ land and it isn’t going anywhere – and what was planted once, can be re-planted. Or a lovely condominium built to enhance the National coffers and help educate our children and put in place effective national health services for our old people – like me.

    The true test of a “PHILANTHROPIST” is that he/she acts “pro bono publico”, which means “for the good of the people”. So let us help Allard be a philanthropist and accept his no-strings-attached gift of the GHNS. If he GAVE the GHNS to the Country, do you seriously think any politician or political party would be so mad as to try to take it and build condominiums? No sirrreeee. It would be run at Barbados’ expense as a nature reserve. Thus would Allard’s DECLARED agenda be served.

    Allard could then be lauded and honoured as a philanthropist, the founder of the GHNS and given public honours and a place in the eco councils of Barbados and the world. He might even win that debased and disgraced “honour” just given to the President of Guyana and be lauded by the same jackasses. He would also avoid the heavy costs of this frivolous and unwinnable law suit in Canada. And he would cease, as far as he ever can, to look like a rich, spoiled brat who is throwing an infantile temper tantrum due to his acute megalomania.

    So why is Mr Allard hanging on and not ridding himself of this financial liability in phialthropic style? Does he have an UNDECLARED agenda? To these ancient eyes, it looks so. And I suspect that this undeclared agenda is about to become publicly known.


  • @Amused

    Now that you have said what Mr. Allard should do. Can you please tell me when and if the government going to fix the sleuce gate?I hope that you are aware that the pollution going into the water because of the gate not being fixed is killing animal and plant life or dont you care?


  • I have been maligned untruthfully at the link below of Barbados Undergrouond

    Kindly inform the blogmaster/person(s) responsible to remove this comment forthwith or I will take legal action regarding damages.


  • @ac

    Perhaps the government is onside with you but in the scheme of the big picture they have delayed certain actions for the moment. One man will NOT be allowed to hold our sovereign country to ransom. It just will NOT happen.


  • @Mr Spieler,

    The reference you have provided addresses a person by the name of David Speiler who runs and/or is the proprietor of a blog and who has no testicles. It clearly does not refer to you in any case, as you are, by your own admission, David Spieler.

    Under the laws of defamation, of which you seek to avail yourself, you will also need to prove that this describes you, to the extent that you are the proprietor and/or operator of a blog and that you have the medical condition described. You will note that the blog is not named, which makes it extremely difficult to identify. Otherwise, the comment clearly does not apply to you, but to someone called David Speiler. Our search on the worldwide white pages reveals the existence of some hundreds of people with the name of David Speiler, and some hundreds with your name as well.

    We are legally satisfied that we have not defamed you, David Spieler, in any way, unless you can (a) prove that you are also David Speiler, (b) runs a blog and (c) have no testicles.

    We trust the matter is now resolved and reserve the right to publish this exchange on Barbados Underground. We copy WordPress as well.


  • @David
    To fix the gate! Give me a break!


  • @ac

    Not to labour the point but this is a “Mexican Standoff” devil take the hindmost i.e. the two parties government (Barbados) and Allard (owner of GHNS) are in Court fighting another matter which has determined how the government has acted to date in this matter. Bear in mind this is a carry-on from the last government. The dispute has become very contentious and the government is clearly prepared to let the environment take the hit until the other matter is resolved.


  • Some folks like they can’t even tell whu duh own name does be. There does be many websites that might have been included in this circulation. I wonder if any have carried the comment yet. I gone peep and see.


  • • Call a spade… // May 15, 2010 at 11:49 PM
    In the late 1950s and early 1960s I went to Graeme Hall swamp regularly in the mornings during shooting season: July 15 to October 15. My father and uncle were members. I been to many shooting-swamps in the island. There is absolutely no need for mangroves or brackish water in order to establish the shallow ponds or “trays” as they are called that you find in shooting-swamps. It would take years to establish them, which is why I question your assumption that they were man-made.


    Bang on the button.

    I’ll try and use the tiny pics facility to publish a 1951 aerial photo and map of the Graeme Hall Swamp and its environs to provide a factual basis for the extent of the swamp back then.

    It is quite amazing to see how extensively used the body of water was as a shooting swamp.

    I always heard that Captain Hutt dramatically curtailed this activity because of his lobbying of the Government to make it illegal to shoot certain species. Perhaps this is the reason swamp bird shooting decayed since then. However I have always heard that the then PM of Barbados used to be an avid swamp bird shooter himself.

    I know there are numerous shooting swamps throughout the island. My guess is none have mangroves as mangroves are usually found at a fresh water/sea water interface.

    The Florida Everglades is one such example.

    I can think of another place in Barbados besides Graeme Hall where there might be mangrove trees, that is in The Hole at Holetown. I would have to go and look to confirm, and even then I would have to ask an expert if they were indeed mangroves as I make no claim to be a botanist.

    Long Pond likewise is another likely place. Green Pond a bit further north has none. If my memory serves me right, it is quite bare.

    These are other places in Barbados where fresh water pools when it comes into contact with the sea.

    Here are some extracts for some Caribbean Islands from an FAO report looking at the Status and Trends in Mangrove Area Extent Worldwide…

    “Anguilla is a low lying limestone island. Stands of mangroves occur in ten sites on the margin of seven saline ponds and around three others on the adjacent Scrub Island”

    “Antigua’s low-lying coasts feature many saline ponds and tidal mud flats that carry stunted mangrove vegetation of the species Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia nitida and Laguncularia racemosa. Mangroves are usually found on mud or sandbanks sites, that are not actually inundated but have a high brackish-water table; “manchineel” swamps of Hippomane mancinella with some Annona glabra and Achrostichum sp. are often found bordering the mangrove swamps. Whereas the mangrove trees are commonly stunted and do not exceed 4.5 m in height, the manchineel attains 9 to 12 m with girths of up to 1.2 m.”

    “There are fifty-five identified and described mangroves sites in the British Virgin Islands. The greatest area occurs on Anegada. The species Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa, Conocarpus erectus and Avicennia germinans are widespread in these islands. Mangroves have been declared a “critical natural resource” by the government and some areas are protected under conservation and planning legislation.”

    “The Cayman Islands have widespread mangrove and associated swamp lands. There are 25 mangrove sites distributed over the three islands, among which 11 are protected. Seventeen of these occupy about 36 percent of Grand Cayman; three occupy about 1 percent of Cayman Brac and five occupy about 40 percent of Little Caiman. The most common species present are: Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, Conocarpus erectus.”

    “Guadeloupe consists of two islands, which are joined together by a mangrove swamp. There is a large area of mangrove containing the following four species, Rhizophora sp., Avicennia sp., Laguncularia sp., and Conocarpus sp.. Virgin stands are dense and reach 21 m in height. Mangroves occur in general on the seaward side of swamps, with freshwater Pterocarpus swamp on the landward side.”

    “The main mangrove species in Haiti are red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) and black mangrove (Avicennia nitida). They are found near large estuaries, especially at Fort Liberté in the north-east and Gonaïves, in Artibonite. There are also stands of white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) and Conocarpus erectus. Mangroves are here used for firewood and posts”

    etc. etc.


  • Water Level at Graeme Hall

    The water level in Graeme Hall Swamp is at sea level. Depending on the porosity of the coral, this level could fluctuate with the tides. I have never witnessed this as I have rarely been into the swamp and the few times I have, I would not have been thinking about tidal fluctuations. It would be interesting to hear if such fluctuations in water level in the swamp were witnessed by the various contributors who spent a lot of time there.

    Senn in 1946 in his report has this to say. “In the coastal district between Amity Lodge and Graeme Hall, the surface by descending below sea level cuts the ground water table giving rise to several springs (Amity Lodge and Graeme Hall Swamps).” I’ll try and publish a diagram he uses to illustrate.

    The body of water in Graeme Hall Swamp is contained by what appears to me to be a large sinkhole and it is fed both by springs and surface water runoff.

    This freshwater floats on the seawater and provides the brackish water which provides the environment in which Mangroves can thrive to the exclusion of most other species.

    My reading of the aerial photos from 1951 and satellite imagery from recently is that the Mangrove population has dramatically expanded I think because it has been left alone and fresh water periodically drained from the swamp.

    My guess as to the function of the sluice gate is to let out fresh water and avoid flooding Highway 7. Sea water finds its way underground to the lake and surrounding areas.

    Tarpon and other sea water fish probably feed in the outflow of fresh water and find their way up the canal, looking for more food. They then get trapped in an envronment which is brackish because of underground seawater inflow into the swamp.

    Depending on rainfall, my guess is the sluice gate will get fixed by natural forces. Hopefully somebody will notice the level of the swamp rising and act before Mother Nature provides the solution.

    My guess is that the guy who operated the sluice gate used to notice these things and act on our behalf.

    If I am successful in understanding how tinypics works I’ll publish some pretty pictures.


  • Call a spade...

    @ GP
    The rest of the BU family will probably be tired of our exchanges on Graeme Hall, but since we share a love of history I hope they will cut me a little slack one last time!

    This morning I called an old friend who had a long involvement with the shooting-swamp at Graeme Hall. IN 1960, he was personally responsible for clearing about 20 acres of mangroves in order to create the large ponds I knew as a boy there. Here is the history according to him:

    1. The mangrove swamp, which was very dense, was part of the Graeme Hall plantation owned by a Mr. Dudley Clarke. He operated a shooting swamp there, but nothing on the scale of what existed after 1960.

    2. Ownership of this mangrove land then passed to a Mr. Eric Manning. The manning family were very involved in bird-shooting. The family used to own what is now Rockley Golf and Country Club, and there was a shooting swamp at the lower end of what is now the golf course. When Golf Club Road and Rockley New Road started to be developed as residential after the second world war, the Mannings started to shoot at Graeme Hall.

    3. In 1960, my source, commissioned by Mr Eric Manning, cleared 20 acres of Mangroves and built up banks to separate the shallow ponds needed to attract wader birds. tons of clay were brought up from St. Andrew to lay the foundation for the ponds. IN other words, the mangroves were not cultivated or encouraged to create the shooting-swamp; they were actually severely cut back.

    4. According to my source, the sleuce gate was not installed to let in salt water that would help maintain the mangroves; it was actually installed to let out fresh water from the shooting-swamp to prevent flooding! As I mentioned earlier, shooting-swamps have no need for mangroves, nor do they need brackish water. The birds want fresh water. Also, I used to fish for tilapia in those ponds, and they are fresh-water fish.

    5. According to my source, the mangroves were there before you and I were born. He believes a sand bank built up over time, and this “new land” was built on and a road installed. This development would have become a barrier to the natural inflow of salt water during high tide, but it was probably a gradual process.

    6. According to my source, before Allard, one of the previous owners of this land, after it ceased to be shooting-swamp, was a developer who wanted to created a marina-type development. It was he who created the deep lake that is there now and filled in much of the rest. Obviously that plan fell through.

    I believe that the original function of the sleuce gate was reversed when Allard made the decision to create a sanctuary and restore the mangroves as part of that.
    By the way, my source was consulted by Allard because of his previous knowledge of the swamp, and he warned Allard that once salt water was reintroduced the mangroves would take over in short order if they were not carefully controlled.

    My apologies to the rest of you for the length of this post. As you will have determined from my original post, I have no regard for Mr. Allard. However, I do love the sanctuary and that’s a fact. I don’t care whether the tourists go there or not; our own people need places like this.
    David is right: it is a Mexican standoff. The Government is not going to acquire a property from someone that has shown such disrespect for the country.
    BTW, I haven’t shot a bird in over 40 years. And never will again.


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