Under Cover - Turner Hall WoodsOctober 10 2011
When Barbados was discovered it was a heavily forested island. The early settlers, more concerned with survival than conservation, proceeded to clear the forest, using the wood both for shelter and sustenance. Erecting their wooden shacks and cooking on firewood took its toll on the trees and gradually the 106,000 acres of forested terrain shrunk, leaving only 46 acres of the original forest cover intact… Turner Hall Woods.
This heavily wooded area covers the steep slope of a gully that runs East to West for about half mile, on the Northern side of White Hill. The gully floor is about 1,200 feet wide and hosts a meandering stream, which is quite active during the rainy season.
There was once a wooden bridge that spanned this creek, the remnants of which are still attached to their base. As a boy, I drove over this bridge with my father, on our way to the village of St Simons where his elderly aunts lived. Because of soil erosion, the road through the woods was abandoned, leaving only a footpath for access.
Turner Hall woods is home to handsome stands of the Cabbage Palm, Sandbox and Silk Cotton tree.