Located within the island’s interior, in west central Jamaica, the Cockpit Country is a singular environment of some of nature’s most complex and important ecological systems.
The unique overturned eggshell karst topography distinguishes the region geographically. The Cockpit terrain is characterized by dense formations of rounded peaks and steep-sided, bowl-shaped depressions that have been sculpted over millennia by erosion and the dissolution of limestone. It is believed that British soldiers from the 17th century thought the area resembled cockfighting pits from their homeland and thus named it as such.
A natural haven to nearly 1500 species of endemic and, in some cases, endangered plant and animal life, the Cockpit Country is a remarkable dwelling place for rare species populations. Twenty-seven of Jamaica’s twenty-eight indigenous birds are found in the area, along with numerous breeds of amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates. The region’s vast catalogue of plant-life has designated the Cockpit Country as an ecological wonder both inside Jamaica and well beyond the island’s borders.
The Cockpit Country’s forests, along with its extensive network of caves, comprise the largest remaining block of moist wet limestone found in Jamaica. This resource rich area provides forty percent of the island’s freshwater supply and contains valuable deposits of bauxite.
In addition to appreciating the cloistered beauty of the area, traveling to and touring the Cockpit Country is an extraordinary journey that reflects the diversity, nuance and vitality of one of the few remaining unspoilt areas of the Caribbean
The Cockpit Country is made up of several distinct communities, each of which offers a unique window onto Jamaican culture. Some of the main regions include, Accompong, Flagstaff, Windsor, Wait-A-Bit/Litchfield, and Sherwood Content. Many of these centers are located close to the Cockpit interior, while others can be reached via a 2-3 hour drive.
Ceramic potter Garfield Williams studied at West Humber Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Canada, before returning to Jamaica in early 2000. Originally from Balaclava, St. Elizabeth, Williams began making drawings and [...]