Walker’s Quarry was born when the McNeel family discovered sand. A proposed hotel was to enjoy the beauty of the windswept and sun-drenched Walker’s Beach, but as they were surveying the land for the potential feasibility of the hotel, it was discovered that silica sand, essential in mixing concrete, was available in abundance. Over the next 50 years, Walker’s Quarry provided abundant sand to the island of Barbados while managing to steward and protect one of the largest native beach-side forests on the island. Nearly every building in Barbados is constructed, in part, from Walker’s Quarry sand suspended in concrete. As Barbados’s building industry exhausts Walker’s sand supply, it is time to shift focus to regenerating the land back to health, and turning Walker’s Quarry into Walker’s Reserve.
The regeneration of Walker’s Quarry and the idea to transform it into Walker’s Reserve has roots that go way back. The regenerative possibility of Walker’s was first born in the mind’s eye of Ian McNeel as he witnessed, as a child, the quarry operations that removed sand from the landscape. The regenerative design process itself has been a multi-year pathway. In 2011, Ian McNeel contacted Terra Genesis International about starting the process that would ultimately lead to a regenerative end-of-use plan. Terra Genesis is an international permaculture consulting firm which works broad-acre restoration and regenerative supply chain projects around the world. The McNeels and TGI have since worked together to craft the design that is now being carried out. Now Walker’s Quarry is transforming itself into Walker’s Reserve right before our eyes. With the hard work and knowledge of local and international experts, and the good will of the community and stakeholders, this area that was once mined to build Barbados is now being sculpted, planted and cared for, bringing back biodiverse health and climatological resilience to the land.