On gully duty

 

Debra Brancker leading the group into the gully to get started.
Debra Brancker leading the group into the gully to get started.

Since last October, participants of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Barbados, have been working at Welchman Hall Gully. Under the instruction of manager at the gully, Debra Brancker, participants from different groups work together on the upkeep of the gully. Those taking part in the project are from the groups at Queen’s College, Alexandra School and Combermere School.

Once weekly, they log volunteer service hours by clearing fallen branches from the paths and painting new benches in the gully, amongst other activities. The participants are working to complete the service section for the bronze award. In order to complete the bronze they must do three others sections: skill development, physical recreation and hiking. The project, which runs over 12 weeks, is also giving the participants the chance to learn more about native plants. In addition to the gully the group has visited Turners Hall Woods, where they collected young plants to be transplanted to the gully. As they work with the transplanting they have learned the names of native species of plants.

Their plant knowledge will increase even more as they investigate plants that are traditionally used for medicinal purposes. It has been great fun for the group as they make new friends and get knee deep with nature.

The award in Barbados is this year celebrating its 15th anniversary and is presently working on increasing the number of young people who take part in the programme. During the summer the local office will host the annual regional expedition, CASC 2013: Journey to A Greener Barbados, which is expected to attract participants from all over the Caribbean.

One of the activities of the camp will be a residential project which will involve participants working on a natural conservation project.

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