Goodbye Summer, Hello Aumtumn

As the summer finally looks like it is coming to a close there certainly is no sign of slowing down here at Gift to Nature HQ. There is lots of maintenance at our sites; at this time of year, it's important we prepare for winter as well fix any issues we have experienced over the summer. As ever an Indian summer has been forecast and we certainly are not complaining.

Have your little ones headed back to school? You can buy, back to school essentials (or dare we say early Christmas gifts) through Easy Fundraising and for every pound your spend we receive a little extra, with no extra cost to you- more details below. If you're wanting to keep the whole family busy over the next few days, or if you are somewhat creative, keep reading to find out how to make your very own Bug Hotel. 
Ranger's diary

Hello readers. 

My names Edward and I am the apprentice Countryside Ranger for Gift to Nature. I am currently completing my Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Horticulture and hope to be able to move onto my Level 3 course in the New Year. 

I originally began my working life as a Tree Surgeon which I was involved in for 6 years. However, the time came when I no longer enjoyed scaling the heights of up 100 ft. with a chainsaw and decided to pursue a career which remained working outside and kept my feet firmly on the ground. I was looking to both move to the Isle of Wight and work in nature conservation, and so couldn’t believe my luck when I came across the opportunity to work for Gift to Nature as a Countryside Ranger. 

Since I have started in February 2017 I have been thrown into a world of fantastic nature, beautiful sites, breathtaking views and varying challenges on a daily basis. I am able to work with fantastic people who work tirelessly to improve and maintain our sites for the public to enjoy, whilst also meeting members of the public who are equally grateful and excited about the work we are doing.


I love the physical aspects of the job, being able to learn new skills and the variety of work which occurs on a daily basis. 

I hope you all enjoy our sites and the work we do as much as I do. 

Thanks for your continued support. 


It's a Bug's Life

A safe place can be hard to come by when you're a ladybird. Even with the best intentions, modern gardens aren't always the best places for wildlife to find solace. But you could help make a real difference by building your very own Bug Hotel. The end of summer is a great time to build your hotel as you'll have lots of the items you need lying around your garden or nearest park. The items you'll need are
  • Old wooden pallets
  • Strips of wood
  • Straw
  • Moss
  • Dry leaves
  • Woodchips
  • Old terracotta pots
  • Old roofing tiles
  • Bricks, preferably those with holes through them
  • Old logs
  • Bark
  • Pine cones 
  • Sand
  • Soil
  • Hollow bamboo canes
  • Dead hollow stems cut from shrubs and herbaceous plants
  • A sheet of roofing felt
  • Planks of wood
  • Whatever else you can find - preferably natural materials


Choose a suitable site. It needs to be level and the ground firm.

Start to build your structure, you can use old wooden palettes, bricks, slate or wood. The idea is to stack the material up leaving lots of gaps.

Next fill in the gaps with old leaves, moss, hay, cardboard, bark or stones (just about anything natural works). 

Finally give your big house a roof, you can use old tiles or old planks with roofing felt. 

Now your house is made, why not make a sign and name your house. All there is to do now is see how many bugs you can spot. 

Please share any bug houses with us on social media using #gifttonature @gifttonature

If making your own bug house feels like a bit of a push, don't worry, our lovely little shop on Holyrood Street in Newport now is now selling them, for just £12.99. Be quick whilst stocks last.

Easy Fundraising!

With Easy Fundraising it has never been easier to raise funds for charity.  How does it work? Easy Fundraising turns your everyday online shopping into free donations for your favourite cause. (hopefully that's us)? Simply start your online shopping first at then shop as normal. Retailers will then make a small donation to us to say "thank you”. The photo below gives you an idea of just some of the brands you can shop with. Shopping never felt so good!

Gift to Nature Take Part in Open Garden 

Many thanks to Andrea Richter for inviting us to be part of her debut to the National Open garden Scheme on Saturday 25th of August.
Years of work has resulted in a stunning display of exotic wonder and not only were we invited to run the plant sales, generously supplemented by some of her own exotics, Andrea has also agreed to run private tours of her garden for small groups in the future, with donations going to us! 
Please get in touch if you would like to experience this magical place in Cowes and we will organise dates for you.
Cally and the Gift to nature team raised £377 selling plants and stoneware and had a wonderful day talking to all the keen gardeners about our work in our local countryside. 

Site of the Month - Pig Leg Lane

There is lots of family fun to be had a Pig Leg Lane-all throughout the year!
The pond is pretty dry at this time of year, but why not dip a net ( or your toes) in the cool Monktonmead Brook.

It is always a pleasure to receive a happy email and last month we received one from a Ryde resident telling us that they had spotted a shoal of minnows at Pig Leg Lane Bridge. This is brilliant news as it reflects last year’s hard work of upgrading the site and stopping run-off into Monktonmead Brook from Rosemary Lane.

The meadow is still a lovely place to take a picnic, and we have added some seats if you don’t feel like sitting on the grass.

You can download a species list from the Pig Leg Lane page of our website and see how many you can spot – The Isle of Wight Natural History Society found 135 plant species when they visited in July 2017.

Or if you fancy learning about heritage our interpretation boards tell the stories of Monktonmead Brook, Arethusa Cottage, the Isolation Hospital and the history of the site. And finally, it has some great views across the town of Ryde and to the Solent.

Join Us!

We have created Gift to Nature trail packs, and the good news is they are free to all new supporters. These beautiful illustrations were created by Alan Rowe and we have them for 11 of our sites. They offer you lots of information about each location including the best routes, and what special plants and animals live there. You can also buy the packs individually for £7.99. You can buy the packs at our shop and also at the Tourism Office in Newport. Or why not join us? From as little as £3.00 per month you can help look after the Island we all love so much. Visit our website to join today

Many thanks to everyone who entered our Calendar Competition. We will be announcing winners this month and the 2019 calendars will be ready to buy either online or in our shop from the end of September.
More Gift to Nature news for you next month, so why not forward this one to a friend? New subscribers always make us happy!

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Gift to Nature · Shide Meadows Centre · Shide Road · NEWPORT, Isle Of Wight PO30 1HR · United Kingdom

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