New Year, Fresh Starts & Winter Walking 

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2019

The days might be shorter and indeed colder, but that doesn't stop our dedicated rangers. They are still out each day preparing our sites for the coming Spring and fixing any issues we've experienced over Christmas.

We're really excited to announce we will now be offering Gift to Nature Dedications across our sites, offering you the opportunity to have your very own special place, on one of our sites. 

With New Year often comes new beginnings, why not start a new chapter this year and volunteer with us? More details below. January Blues? We've also got the covered below as we discuss winter walks and our very special trail packs.
Ranger's diary

The Gift To Nature Ranger’s Blog 

2018 finished with great support from the Green Gym and our own Wildlife Warriors with work parties at Shide Chalk Pit and Munsley Bog in Godshill. These tasks were part of our ongoing winter work to maintain the chalk grassland at Shide and the bog habitat at Munsley. Just before Christmas we removed a fallen tree from the squirrel hide at Parkhurst and tree surgeon, David Budden, reduced a leaning alder at Pan Mill Meadow to a size where we can finish the job ourselves. This tree has slowly been leaning over one of the benches by the cycle track causing a risk to the public. Once it has been coppiced close to the ground level it should re-grow from the base with vigorous new shoots in the spring. 

Another job we had been working on in the run-up to Christmas was the restoration of the viewpoint and bench above Little Janes Quarry looking down over Brading and beyond. This site is over the road from the main Brading Down and can be accessed either by walking up from the town or carefully crossing the road from the last Brading Down car park at the Brading end. The bench has been rebuilt with the addition of a backrest and scrub and trees obscuring the view have been removed. The added bonus of this will be to give the chalk grassland plants around the rim of the old quarry a boost of sunlight along with opening this spectacular view. 


Christmas was quiet in terms of weather without much wind which can cause damage and problems with trees at this time of year. We now have a couple of months before bird nesting season so we are pushing on with winter pruning of paths, willow clearance at Afton Marsh, coppicing at Dickson’s Copse and preparing for when the grass really starts growing again in the spring. 

We would like to thank all our supporters and volunteers for all their hard work in 2018 and wish you a Happy New Year.

Site of the Month - Bonchurch Landslip 

Bonchurch Landslip

We have been racking our brains to come up with the best idea to burn off those post-Christmas pounds, and we reckon it’s a visit to the Devil’s Chimney and the Chink!

The Gift To Nature site called Bonchurch Landslip is a large area of woods and jumbled paths between Luccombe and Bonchurch villages. It features some remarkable landforms, cliffs, boulders and steep steps, and is one of the most extraordinary landscapes on the Island which has been delighting and intriguing visitors for over 200 years.

The coastal path runs through the reserve, and walkers can climb up the inner cliff through the bizarre and claustrophobic climbs of The Devil’s Chimney or The Chink.

The landslip has an established woodland of ashoak and beech, with unusual lichen species. The lower slips, comprising mixed clay and sandy habitats, once supported a complex mix of acid-loving and chalk-loving plant species, but much of this has fallen into the sea, and the lower area is almost impossible to get to because of the continued land movement.

But there are plenty of paths that meander through, some dating from Victorian times when was developed as a picturesque woodland walk in Victorian times, with natural features many of which still can be seen today including the Wishing Seat or Wishing Stone, a large moss-covered rock by the path.

Tradition has it that if you sit on the Wishing Seat, and make a wish, it will come true. So that’s the other way to get rid of any Xmas excess!

Gift to Nature Dedications

Create a Memory on one of our Sites 

At Gift to Nature, we know our sites are much loved and hold special memories for many. 

In response to regular enquiries, we have introduced a range of opportunities to create a lasting memory by having a personal dedication at one of our sites. This could happen in a range of different ways. 

A plaque with your personalised message could be added to an existing favourite seat, looking out over one of the many tremendous views from our sites, a gate at a popular location or at the base of an existing admired tree. 

Alternatively support the introduction of a new seat, gate or native tree e.g. oak, field maple, hawthorn, disease resistant elm at an appropriate location. 

Choose from over 20 sites right across the Island to make a very personal dedication at a location of special significance to you and your loved ones. 

A wonderful way to celebrate a new birth, mark an anniversary or remember a loved one and we will do all the hard work to maintain your memorial for at least 5 years. 

We have tried to offer a range of options: 


* Seats £125 

* Gates £120 

* Trees (at the base) £230 

Or introduce a new: 

* * Seat with a plaque £590 

* * Gate** with a plaque £570 

* * Tree* with a plaque £560 

However, if you have something in mind or would like to discuss please contact us on 01983 296244 or visit our website, add to cart and someone will be in touch


What's in Store?

Here at Gift to Nature we are always keen to lower our personal carbon footprint and tread gently on our landscape. We are super excited that our Gift to Nature shop in Holyrood street has a whole new eco range designed to help our planet as well as our local countryside. 

From steel straws to palm free shampoo bars we have sourced a range of environmentally friendly alternatives, including traditional soap nuts for your clothes washing. do pop in and have a chat with the staff about these great solutions if you want to reduce your plastic and chemical usage.

Join Our Shop Team 

Our shop is a unique boutique that offers customers both new and preloved items. We primarily sell home and garden items but always have a selection of other items that have been donated. The team is small and friendly and offer a relaxed and fun working environment. We're on the lookout for volunteers and are in need of someone this coming Monday, if you're available then or beyond, please email: 
We've still got some of our 2019 calendars in stock, so if you are yet to grab one this year, these could be just right for you.  You can get your calendar both in our shop, and online here. These gorgeous swanlings come from the very talented Alan Rowe and features in the calendar. 

The Joy of Walking

Walking, and indeed the good old 'Great Out Doors' are often deemed summer pursuits. As the colder weather sets in, battle down the hatches and enjoy cosy days inside. 

We're not saying that days spent nesting with a boardgame aren't without their advantages but getting outside in the fresh air is great family fun but also good for you and will help wash away any of those January Blues.

Our sites offer a varied range of terrains and views to enjoy from the gentle slopes and footpaths of
Golden Hill Country park to the more challenging but spectacular Bonchurch Landslip

Why not set a News years goal to visit the whole collection.

Our Gift to Nature Trail pack is the perfect way to start, free to Gift to Nature Supporters they feature 11 of our 29 sites and have suggested trails to follow. You can also buy them from our website or our Gift to Nature Shop in Holyrood St, Newport.

Also available at the Isle of Wight Tourist centre in Newport.

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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