Summer Fun and New Supporters

It’s a busy time of year for everyone at Gift to Nature as the late Spring bolts into overdrive and our team is full throttle with site maintenance and delivering events. We hope you are getting chance to get on some of the sites. Please share your experiences with us by sending pics of you enjoying the spaces. If you are on Instagram please hashtag your pics #gifttonature or #g2n
Rangers Diary

On Friday 8 June the Wildlife Warriors took on the final path improvements at Sandown Community Orchard. We wanted to surface the path through the wettest areas so that visitors can access the site through most of the year and only be excluded during the most extreme flood periods. The team fitted new edging boards and laid crushed limestone over a geomembrane to reduce the mixing of soil and mud with the path surface material. They shifted 4.5 tonnes of material on a very warm and humid day. Whilst there working close to the pond we spotted a male (blue) and female (yellow) broad bodied chaser dragonflies mating and laying eggs in the pond. There was also lots of common blue and banded demoiselle damselflies. There have also been a pair of young great spotted woodpeckers chasing around the trees and bushes by the pond.
New Supporters Scheme Launch
Councillor John Hobart joined us at The Gift to Nature shop in Newport for the unveiling of our new Gift to Nature Trail Packs, given to all Gift to Nature supporters as a small thank you for their help in securing the future of our open countryside spaces. 
The whole team have been working on these guides for many months and with the help of local artist Alan Rowe and designer Mark Lloyd, the finished article is now ready to go.
Featuring 11 of our  sites as individual maps and suggested routes, as well as a guide to what you might find while out exploring, plus some fun activities for the kids. Everyone seems to love them!
You can find out more about becoming a Gift to Nature supporter in our shop at 12 Holyrood Street or by calling 01983 641972 or by going online
The packs are also available to purchase at £7.99 


Out and About 

We had a busy May with events across both sides of the Island
Early May saw us celebrate the opening of our new boardwalk at Sandown Community Orchard by throwing a Mad Hatters Teaparty .
The Orchard is so beautiful in May and it was a perfect day. The new boardwalk has really opened up the site and the improved accessibility has completely changed the feel of the space. 
At the end of the month we held our first Butterfly Ball fundraising event at Golden Hill Country Park with live music from the talented rock pianist, Tensheds and we had a splendidly chilled evening – we even managed to avoid the spectacular Spring storm that entertained us as we headed home. 
The Big Kite Picnic attracted hundreds of families for an amazing day of good old fashioned fun. A glorious way to spend a Sunday with many families visiting the park for the first time. Definitely one to put in the Gift to Nature annual calendar


Site of the Month
Golden Hill Country Park
We have enjoyed seeing so many people visiting Golden Hill in Freshwater last month and thought you might want to know a little more about its history.
The Country Park was established in 1970 with the opening by Earl Mountbatten. The fort itself was built during the 1860s as a defensive keep and barracks for the coastal batteries in the West Wight. The 20 hectares plus has now developed into a mosaic of open grassland, shrub rich scrub and woodland. As well as a country park the site is also a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, which is a local designation recognising its importance for red squirrels, flowers and insects. Within the park there are many footpaths to explore taking you through flower rich meadows, past woodland ponds and to fantastic view-points. In the spring you can find early purple orchids and cowslips dotted along shaded paths. In the summer the yellow flowers of fleabane can be found in many areas attracting thousands of insects. In the autumn the extensive shrubby areas are loaded with autumn berries and you can often hear the screech of Jays among the trees. 
During the autumn the grassland is cut in order to maintain the open areas and throughout the winter our rangers organise work parties to surface and prune paths and maintain the ponds and view-points. 
There is a gravelled car park that can be accessed from Colewell Road. If using a sat nav please use the postcode PO40 9SJ. Further information can be found on our website

Whats in Store 

We love the summer at the Gift to Nature shop as it means we can use our lovely garden more.
We have lots of locally grown plants in stock now as well as our extremely popular garden ornament range. With the demand high do make sure you keep an eye on our shop Facebook page for latest deliveries or pop in regularly to pick up something special. 
We are  also applying for the Wight Marque status as we now stock a great range of Wight Marque accredited local jams, fruit vinegars and oils. All perfect for making the most of the summer. 
For more information on Wight Marque and how it works visit their website



Find us at the 2018 County Show

The County Show is nearly upon us and this year Gift to Nature is taking part in the Garden and Outdoor Living area by creating a  Show Garden.
This new area was created in 2017 and was immensely popular with the crowds.
This year the theme is ‘The Wild Child’ – ‘Create a garden for a family with young children who love wildlife and the great outdoors’. A perfect brief for our ranger Nick who has bravely accepted the challenge – we will also be selling plants in the horticultural tent 
Do come and see us on Sunday July 8th Northwood Show Ground

The 2017 winning Show Garden by CAR Gardens
Coming Up

Dodnor Rediscovered - Saturday July 28th
The revelations of the old Victorian cement kilns at Dodnor have been fascinating us all  and we are looking forward to sharing our discoveries.
Ruth Waller, Mark Russell and their team of enthusiastic volunteers have been working hard to bring the project to fruition for the end of July, when will be holding a public event for you all to come along and immerse yourself in a little nostalgia. More news about this next month but keep an eye out on social media for developments plans.

The Brading Faerie Festival and Woodfair  - Sunday August 26th
Much excitement at the Gift to Nature office over the second Brading Faerie Festival and Woodfair, as we dust off our fairy wings and sharpen our whittling tools in preparation! Set to be packed with lots of fun woodland activities, demonstrations and entertainment, in the gorgeous Bulleys Pit glade, deep in Brading Down. 
We are always looking for volunteers to help at our events – if you would like to come along as a volunteer please do call the office
Or email


In Memory of a Friend 
Thanks to the family and friends of Les Scriver that so generously donated to Gift to Nature in accordance with his wishes – He will be much missed. 
It was whilst working as a Purser on the British India line that the natural beauty of the Isle of Wight first caught the eye of a young Jonathan Scriver. No far-flung destination could match the sight of the Island as it came into view, white cliffs and rolling hills rising from the glistening sea. He would take every opportunity he could to visit, exploring the footpaths and byways whilst admiring the wonderful landscape and panoramic scenery. 
A long career as a Customs officer at Heathrow and voluntary work with the Royal British Legion afforded little time off, but family holidays spent watching butterflies dance around the meadows by day and bats skimming the water’s edge hunting for gnats at dusk were the highlight of the year. 
Jonathan, Les to his friends, was an avid supporter of natural conservation. He always wanted to educate the younger generations about the countryside and preserve the island’s natural beauty which had brought him so many years of joy. 
A collection in memory of Jonathan, to be donated to Gift to Nature, was organised as a fitting tribute to a gentleman who was in his element rambling the cliffs and hills of the Wight. Perhaps the next time that you find yourself marvelling at our gorgeous natural surroundings, you might remark as Jonathan would, that it is truly ‘tremendous’! 

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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