Fallen Leaves, Cooler Climes & an Abundance of Squash
Hello Winter

Greetings from our Chief Executive 

When Gift to Nature agreed to take over the management of the majority of the Councils’ Countryside sites we knew we had accepted a challenge but we wanted to not only keep the sites open but to enhance them. Three years later I am delighted to let you know we have agreed to continue this work. 

We are a small Island-based charity trying to preserve and improve these important assets, which if they are lost would undoubtedly not be replaced. To keep them safe, open and accessible to all is an expensive exercise and that is why your support is so important. 

On behalf of everyone who enjoys the sites, thank you to those of you who have become members of the Gift to Nature Supporters Scheme (please ask if you would like to know more details), volunteered in either manning the Gift to Nature Shop or maintaining the sites, or donated money to the charity or stock for the shop. In whatever way you help us, thank you. 

Whilst our resources are constantly being stretched as we deal with increasing incidences of anti-social behaviour, please continue to give us your feedback on how we can improve the sites and the way you enjoy them. 

Kind regards

Graham Biss
Chief Executive 

Ranger's diary

At this time of year we are busy preparing many of our sites for winter. In September, October and November we cut several wildflower areas such as parts of Sibden Hill, Riverside Park and Pan Country Park. On some of the sites we cut and collect the cuttings, we are assisted in this by the Green Gym and our own volunteer group, the Wildlife Warriors.

We can’t do all the sites at once so spread out the work over a couple of months. This week we have strimmed Sandown Community Orchard and the Green Gym have raked up the cuttings and placed to the sides to provide habitat and to mulch down. Still to come are parts of One Horse Field, Pan Mill Meadows, Munsley Bog and Golden Hill Fort. It is labour intensive work but beneficial to the diversity of plants in the meadow.

By removing the year's growth we help to reduce the fertility of the soil, reduce mulching over new seedlings and smaller plants and increase competition that favours the more specialist wildflowers rather than course grasses and herbs.


The photos show Golden Hill Country Park before and after our work this autumn.

As always, you can always contact us on social media if you have any questions regarding our sites. 
Our apprentice ranger Edward has been busy clearing overgrowth at Blackgang Viewpoint. 
With thanks to Vectis Ventures for allowing us access onto their land to open up the view at this well-loved location. 
Please do share with us any photos you take of this spectacular view.

When the Pan Country Park was established alongside the planned next phase of house building it was expected that there would be periods when the needs of Barratt, the housebuilder, would impact on the Country Park. After a recent meeting, we have to advise of the temporary closure of the path just over the bridge which links the southern section to the rest of the country park for the next 2 months. 

It is pleasing to see parts of the park maturing well and whilst building will continue for the foreseeable future and therefore the full impact on the country park is still to be felt, we are keen to receive your feedback on how we could improve the country park both in the short and longer terms. Please let us have your suggestions. 

We will endeavour to keep you advised of any further developments which affect the country park.

Have You Spotted an Asian Hornet?

Islanders are being asked to be vigilant and report any possible sightings of Asian hornets. These insects have caused massive destruction to honey bees, pollinators and fruit growers across France within the last ten years. 

To date, there have been 13 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and six nests have been destroyed. Nine of these sightings occurred in 2018; including two in Hampshire last month.

Swift action has hopefully eradicated the Hornets, but the Isle of Wight is within the danger zone. Natural Enterprise, who host the Isle of Wight Local Action Group that aims to stop the spread of invasive non-native species are working to raise awareness of this threat. If you think you’ve spotted one, the sighting can be reported through the Asian hornet app or

It is crucial that members of the public report any possible sightings so that experts can take quick and effective action to eradicate Asian
hereAn identification sheet is available to
They are not active at night. 

Asian Hornets have a dark brown or black velvety body, a yellow or orange band on the fourth segment of their abdomen, yellow-tipped legs are smaller than the native European hornet, which is not a threat.


Site of the Month - Appley Park Picture Frame 

If you fancy a lovely Autumn walk with great photographic opportunities, then why not take a trot along the seafront between Ryde and Seaview. A new alternative to snapping forts and wading birds is to line up Appley Tower, The Solent and Portsmouth through Appley Picture Frame. 

With support from our fantastic friends at 
Goodleaf Tree Climbing who raised money through a tree climbing marathon, we commissioned and installed a wonderful new feature at Appley Park. 
Made by local creatives Dave Badman and Lisa Long at Ecclestone George this creates a brilliant autumn view, and stand in front of the frame and pose! The #RydeFrame is the perfect place to take a selfie with Ryde’s iconic Appley Tower.

Christmas Shopping 

Have you started to think about Christmas yet? Well we are less than two months away from the big day and our shop is in full Christmas mode with lot's of gorgeous gift ideas both new and preloved. We will be having an exclusive Christmas shopping event on 29th November and you're invited. The event will have mulled wine and mince pies - and our supporters will get an extra 10% of their purchase. If you have any preloved items which you would like to donate, call the shop team on 01983 641972 and we can arrange a pickup.

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

Are you writing your Christmas lists? Why not get your friends and family a Gift to Nature 2019 Capturing some of the most gorgeous views from the Gift to Nature sites! Buy from our shop while stocks last. 
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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