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November  News

The damp weather has well and truly set in for now but work on the sites continues.
This time of year sees everyone tidying and preparing for Spring and we are no exception.
We are always mindful of leaving areas undisturbed for wildlife though and would urge you to do the same.
Allowing leaves to stay on the ground may look a little untidy but they are the perfect cover for grubs and caterpillars to over winter and are also a rich source of food for birds and hedgehogs rootling around in the decaying foliage.
Leaving some fallen apples on the ground and  blackberries and sloes on the hedgerows will all help our wildlife survive the cold months ahead.

Nick has had to exact some repairs to our lovely 'Eel' at Pan Mill Meadows recently.
Anti social behaviour like this takes a lot of our resources and is very frustrating but we are grateful to those that alert us to any damage before it gets too bad.

Hopefully this time it will get more than a few months in tact. 

The work at Castlehaven is now complete and we attended the official  opening earlier in October. Nick couldnt resist smartening up the old winch on site to add that special focal point . It is such a lovely spot. Please visit if you are out that way. 

Our next newsletter wont be until the new year, so we would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and we look forward to sharing more updates with you in 2020
 

 

Blackgang Viewpoint

One of our more unusual Gift to Nature sites is Blackgang Viewpoint. Situated on A3055 Blackgang Road just above the Chine, it offers stunning cliff top views of the West Wight. Work has recently been carried out to improve the viewpoint and allow visitors to be able to take in the site’s outstanding beauty, but we think there is more we can do, and we would like to hear from our supporters as to what they want!

The site has a fantastic amount going for it:

-          Its an ideal stopping point as it is perfectly situated to explore the surrounding area which is full of natural beauty & fascinating history.

-          There are picnic tables situated away from the main parking area

-          A short but brisk uphill walk will lead to St Catherine’s Oratory, or as it is known locally, ‘The Pepperpot’. 

-          It links to the Isle of Wight’s most scenic coastal path which runs along the top of Gore cliffs and provides views of beaches, cliff faces and an aerial view of St. Catherine’s Lighthouse, which is also accessible from the coastal walk. 

-          Peregrine falcons nest along the cliff faces.

-          It is a fantastic place to view the night sky and overlooks what will hopefully be by 2020, the Island’s Dark Skies Park.

So what else would you like us to do there to enhance your visit and make it more enjoyable?

These three photographs have kindly been provided by local supporters – David Cramp’s sunset was taken a few years ago, before we were able to cut the hedge; Alf Damp's wonderful stars were only taken a couple of weeks ago, and Steven Brown’s picture of the fog rolling in was taken this summer.

 

Blackgang Viewpoint  sunset - image credit David Cramp 
Blackgang Viewpoint - Image credit Stephen Brown

The Ranger's Blog


October 2019
As we are fully embracing the autumn conditions, we are slowly digging out the warm weather clothing and having to invest in fully functional water proof apparel … well in my case anyway. It has been a mostly wet October on the Isle of Wight, but we haven’t allowed it to dampen our spirits. The Gift to Nature team & volunteers have been working across the Island working on our sites, carrying out a variety of tasks including cutting back hedges to open paths, felling problem / dangerous trees, cutting meadows & raking the cut grass and much more. 

At Medina Riverside Park there was a white poplar tree, (Populus alba), which had been slowly leaning over the path which runs along the river. We had been monitoring the tree for a couple of years and due to the severity of the lean, the location & the poor condition of the trunk we decided it was time to safely fell the tree in order to prevent any future accidents. Although we never like to see a tree felled & removed, it is our job to observe trees on our sites and to remove any which pose potential threat and are deemed to be dangerous to the public and its surroundings. It was difficult to bring the tree down safely as it was resting & tangled in other surrounding trees, however we were able to fell the trunk safely to the ground whilst not damaging the surrounding vegetation. Much of the brash has been left on site creating habitat piles which will provide shelter and habitats for a variety of rodents, birds and insects living in the woodland. 

On Wednesday 9th October we had our final volunteer session with Sainsbury’s. We were able to make a start on planting fruit trees into the newly created Orchard, planting the first 6 trees at the entrance. As well as this they also helped to clear all of the loose brash which has been cut to clear the area and provide more space, less competing vegatation and allow more light for the already existing & newly planted trees. They did a great job planting and the fruit trees are healthy & doing well. There are six fruit trees at the moment and we will plant more later on in the year. The fruit trees were purchased form Deacon’s Nursery in Godshill and we have bought 3 types of apple tree; ‘Discovery’, ‘Sunset’ & ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’. More locally grown varieties will be planted at a later date throughout the year and in early 2020. On behalf of the entire Gift to Nature team we would like to say a huge thank you to Sainsbury’s and all of the volunteers which came out and worked to improve the site. Everyone involved did great work, doing everything that was asked of them and making all of the sessions fun and productive. Thank you to all who participated. 

This month also held the official opening ceremony of the Castlehaven Village Green and the reopening of NT46 costal path which runs along the bottom of the green. The restoration of the Village Green and the NT46 footpath are the result of many years’ work between the Isle of Wight Council’s Rights of Way team and Niton and Whitwell Parish Council with assistance from Gift to Nature and the Niton Harbour Club. The Castlehaven Village Green is a small coastal green and although small is a much cherished piece of land and is loved by the local community. Niton and Whitwell parish council approached G2N and asked us if we could work on improving the site earlier this year. We have been able to enhance the site by adding a parish council notice board and a brilliant raised bed which has been planted with species of flowers, shrubs and grasses which are specifically tolerant to the harsh coastal conditions. Gift to Nature has now added the site to our portfolio and we will be visiting the area to mow and strim the grass and weed the flower bed when needed. It is a great little site with stunning views and is definitely worth a visit. 

That’s all for October everyone, I hope you have all enjoyed this month’s addition of the Ranger blog. Thank you to everyone for your continued support and be sure to get in touch with us if you have any interesting news or finds on our sites. 

Until next time, 

Ed

Official opening Castlehaven Village Green
A rangers view !  Up on Rew Down

  Golden Hill Country Park update

 
Huge thank you to Ruth Waller for the fascinating update at Freshwater Memorial Hall on 19th October on the preliminary findings up at Golden Hill Country Park.  
There is so much heritage attached to this site and we cant wait to share the full story. Watch this space!

Shop News



 

We now are fully stocked with lots of lovely goodies for the festive season, so please do show your support and visit us for some gift ideas. 
We have everything from cards and advent calenders to gorgeous wildlife ornaments for the home and garden, and of course a selection of pre loved clothes and homeware, if you're looking for a cost effective way of shopping for all those little Christmas extras.
And of course we always have our range of eco household products and our luxury, locally produced food and beauty products

Supporters Shopping Event.
Our Supporters Christmas Shopping Event will be on Friday 23rd/Saturday 24th November when all current supporters are entitled to 10% of anything in store
with the exception of local artists work.  

To sign up to support us visit our website here or call the office on 01983 296244 and speak to Anna

You can find our shop at 12 Holyrood Street Newport – just opposite Hursts.

We are always looking for volunteers to join us in us in our lovely friendly shop so If you have a few hours to spare why not  pop in and have a chat. 

And Finally.....


If you can't come along and support us at our special fundraising event, please consider lending your support in other ways. 
Even just by doing your everyday shopping online you could help us raise funds by signing up to Easyfundraising
You could also become an official Gift to Nature supporter and receive a host of benefits, including our lovely Map Pack of our main sites.
Why not donate your preloved items to our Holyrood Street shop or make a plan to do some of your Christmas shopping there? There really is something for everyone.
For more information, head over to our website www.gifttonature.org.uk
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Gift to Nature · Shide Meadows Centre · Shide Road · NEWPORT, Isle Of Wight PO30 1HR · United Kingdom

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