Less than two weeks for resolution to Graeme Hall crisis – This as THOUSANDS turn out for second free day, hundreds ask for petition

Massive Turnout at Graeme Hall:

No Solution Yet for Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

Massive attendance at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary stopped traffic once again in Worthing on Independence Public Holiday Monday, forcing Sanctuary staff to help facilitate traffic in and out of the Sanctuary’s entrance.

?We estimate 9,500 people passed through the gates on Monday,? said Harry Roberts, General Manager of the Sanctuary.

?Hundreds of people kept telling us that they want to see the Sanctuary stay open, and that they want the surrounding lands up to the ABC Highway reserved for open green space, and that this was their way of showing their support.?

?Frankly, we were completely shocked at the how many people came yesterday, because 8,000 people had already visited during our open day last month on November 9,? said Roberts.

Sanctuary staff scrambled to accommodate people who wanted to see the park one last time before the scheduled closing on December 15.

As of this past weekend, Peter Allard, owner of the Sanctuary confirmed that he had not received any substantive solutions or proposals from government in regard to preservation of the Sanctuary and its upland buffers to the ABC Highway in perpetuity, but acknowledged that he had heard that government officials were discussing the matter internally.

Allard reiterated that he continues to be available to discuss progressive good faith solutions to create a new park within the approximately 240 acre environmental and recreational green space at Graeme Hall, inclusive of the Sanctuary and public and private lands within the RAMSAR wetland, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture complex and surrounding uplands.

This Graeme Hall green space is the last significant area available for parkland between the Airport and Bridgetown.

?We have no confirmation yet that government will preserve the buffer lands up to the ABC Highway as open space,? said Allard. ?We believe strongly that the environmental health of the RAMSAR site and the Sanctuary is absolutely dependent on the uplands being preserved as open space.?

The Sanctuary is scheduled to close on December 15, 2008 after an investment of US$35 million over the past 14 years.

Surly Drainage staff allowed Sluice to fall into disrepair –

Despite overseas seminar paid for by GHNS in 2005

The first thing you notice as you walk along the GHNS trail is the odour, which is due to the sluice between the wetlands and the ocean now rotted shut. According to one of my sources – It took calls on a Sunday to former Health Minister Jerome Walcott to get the sluice open or shut, then, workers annoyed at having been disturbed, would either open the sluice too wide or leave it closed far longer than necessary until fish started dying and then the calls to start the vicious cycle all over again!

How ridiculous, why not have a system of weights and floats to make the rise and fall of the sluice coincide with the tides? Another source told this News-Blog how officials from Drainage were sent to Miami three years ago to learn about controlling swamps as Florida is an expert in this area but when they returned they did nothing with their knowledge.

This News-Blog also took it upon itself to stay as long as possible to see what visitor levels were like for itself, people parking by 11:30 am had packed the tiny parking lot by RT’s Hardware, the Club Xtreme parking area and even as far down as by Tri-Mart, guests both local and tourist were sauntering into GHNS by packs of threes and fives!

The Carib Beach Bar & Restaurant accustomed to a sleepy post-Holiday public holiday, was understaffed and was overwhelmed by extra customers passing in for lunch after a hike through the Sanctuary!

Barbadian Government Officials think

the country is being held to ransom by Foreign Interest

This News-Blog is unfortunately all too aware that many officials of significance in the Public Sector are not happy with how GHNS owner Peter Allard is handling the whole affair, as far as they’re concerned, Barbados is being held to ransom.

What staff indicated is that Allard is willing to cede the property to Government only if there is no development whatsoever, some added they wished that Allard’s interest with the Kingsland Estate had not been mixed into the whole issue, as this has clouded the real matter.

GHNS Management assures all creatures will continue to be monitored even after closure by Skeleton Staff

Further into my tour I actually got to meet GHNS Mgr Harry Roberts, I took the opportunity to ask what will happen to the animals once December 15 has passed and things are not how the public wants? He assured me that a basic crew will remain on hand so that the fauna does not suffer or dissipate in a horrible manner. Mr Roberts also said the team will run essential landscaping on the property as well.

News-Blog’s assessment?

It would be major crime to allow the Sanctuary to fall into disrepair

This lush scenery and these amazing creatures, it was so refreshing to see so many dragonfly after all these years, and the coots and the toucan who loves to pose, the cleverly designed observation sliding slats… For this to go to rack and ruin? The mere thought made me weep at what a crime against the very land of Barbados itself! For what, pride? I do agree with the many folk who asked at the Gift Shop (There you can buy key-rings for $5.00 or a guidebook at $2.50 and packets of pellets to feed the fish at $2.50 a go as well) – where is a petition for them to sign? 6, 000 signatures is not enough – there should be 60-thousand!

This area is a global transmigration point for many birds as they flee the ravages of winter from temperate climes, fish spawn and traverse the planet’s oceans to return RIGHT THERE to breed.

Prime Minister Thompson recently stated at an art show at Queen’s Park how that area should remain a “lung” of Bridgetown; the same theorem should apply to Graeme Hall, as a “lung” not just for the South Coast but the entire LAND. Let us put aside political tribalism and civil servant pride and be HUMANS and do what is RIGHT – save the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and make it a National Park!

10 Days free entrance


photographers, artists, poets & writers

at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

Peter Allard, owner of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and National Park and Harry Roberts, General Manager of GHNS have come up with a wonderful idea of allowing us artists, photographers, poets and writers to have FREE entrance to Graeme Hall Sanctuary for 10 days from Wednesday December 3rd until Friday December 12th, 2008.

This is a wonderful opportunity to help try and save this beautiful place and also to try and get government to pay attention as the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is set to close on Monday December 15th.

There is a condition to this. We give back. For their archives and also to help promote. We will have to sign a release form. The photographs would be used solely for archives and for any promotional work to help the Park. This will be worded in the release form. Also any photographs/art, poetry, prose used will have our names next to them.

In return we are being asked to put the photographs on DVD and allow them to use any photographs we take to help promote the National Park and Sanctuary.

That artists photograph their art and send/deliver images in on DVD/cd’s.

Poets/writers send in their work on cd’s as well.

We may lose this in just a few weeks. Lost to following generations. Let’s help save it.


You must register to get in FREE as GHNS will have a list of all artists, photographers, poets and writers at the entrance. Some form of ID as well please. This is FREE for each artist, photographer, poet or writer but does not include friends, family or guests. Please respect this.

The Artist Release can be found at www.graemehall.com/press.htm, or one can be signed at the Sanctuary.

To obtain a free pass, registration is required. Call the Sanctuary at 435-9727

One Response

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. thank you Ian for your wonderful support and reporting.


add a comment

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.