Did you know the Isle of Wight was at the forefront of Victorian Cement production, even making its own type of Medina Cement. Production stopped around the time of the Second World War, but the site continued as a bagging and distribution facility until the 1990s, when all but one small corner was demolished. This part of the site had been derelict for many years and local children used to sneak in and hide in the 'mummies caves'.
These remaining cement kiln structures, became overgrown and were deteriorating rapidly.
Our project set about halting the decline, recording and interpreting the structures, discovering the history of the site and people and telling the stories.
The site is on a National Cycle Route, so many people pass by each day. We also manage the Local Nature Reserve, Dicksons Copse and Dodnor Creek, adjacent to the kiln site. It is a wonderful wetland reserve and ancient woodland and has Ramsar
However, it owes it's being to its industrial history, the creek is formed by the damming of a stream for flour milling. So this gave a wonderful opportunity to link people, nature and industry all into an interwoven tale.
The nature reserve was very muddy and wet so we thought this would be an opportunity to create a nature trail for year-round use.