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September  News

We're not quite finished with celebrating the summer here at G2N headquarters and are busily preparing for our special fundraising event of the year, which we hope you will all be able to support in one way or another.
 
The Brading Faerie Festival and Wood Fair 
Sunday September 15th 

This year with two events combined into one day of magical fun and discovery, designed for the whole family. With music and dancing, storytelling, demonstrations of traditional woodland skills, quests to complete and trails to follow, plus the fairy market place. 
Unicorn petting ponies will be in attendance along with the unicorn maidens, bring your own home made wand to enter the wand making competition and  help us build the cardboard box castle.
Costume is encouraged at the event but not obligatory, although if you would like to be part of the fairy gathering photoshoot, then dust off your wings in readiness.  Face painting will be available on the day.


Refreshments will be available all afternoon, but you can bring your own picnic and just enjoy the fun in the delightful setting of Bulleys Pit on Brading Down.

Local woodcarver, Paul Sivell, has carved a very special piece for the event, that will be auctioned in the following week and will be display on the day.
 
So why not take a trip into our great outdoors, find out even more about our plans for 2020 and have a marvellous and maybe magical day, loving our local countryside. 
The Unicorn - Paul Sivell's latest work

Bulleys Pit - Brading Down


This year's Faerie Festival and Wood Fair will be held in Bulleys Pit on Brading Down. If you haven't  visited yet its worth the effort, as this tranquil, gladed, ex chalk pit, is a delightful place for a short walk. 

The site belongs to Brading Town Council but Gift To Nature has developed a pedestrian access from the car parks on the down from which you can take a leisurely stroll past rich chalk grassland with clouds of Chalkhill Blue butterflies dancing between flowers. Before you drop down into the pit there are brilliant views south towards Sandown and Shanklin. As you enter the pit there is a much more intimate feeling with sunny glades and paths dappled with sunlight.

Within the pit many different native trees and shrubs have colonised including ash, hawthorn, yew and blackthorn. There are areas of chalk grassland with flowers such as harebell, hawkbit, pyramidal orchid, eyebright and yellow wort. Whilst there you might bump into the sculpture of the quarryman sat on a bench in front of the BBQ plate.

The site has an interesting history. The quarry was exploited for local use and appears on the first edition Ordnance Survey maps. In 1908 a rifle range was shown along the northern edge. Following the cessation of quarrying the Council Highways had a depot in part of it. For a while travellers moved in, and then Brading Town Council took charge of its restoration.

As part of recent Gift To Nature developments, the site was identified as an event venue and Gift To Nature started developing the site for that purpose. Work included clearing scrub that had invaded this chalk grassland habitat and constructing a pedestrian access route from Brading Down. The site was used for the first Brading Faerie Festival and Woodfair in 2017 and was a great success. More recently, development work has included the construction of a small stage area within the pit, installation of the BBQ plate and the opening of some woodland glades to accommodate various festival activities. 

The Ranger's Blog

August / September 

September is here, and that means that we are not too far away from the end of summer and are edging ever closer to autumn. For the Ranger team it means that we are beginning to finish up our summer priorities and will soon carry out more winter and autumn based tasks. This will include the cutting & clearing of large meadow areas, harder pruning back of hedges and trees if necessary clearing & improving site viewpoints. This work is essential to ensure that the land is managed suitably and will be correctly managed for next year’s growing season. 

It has been a very busy and productive month regarding volunteers for Gift to Nature as we have been able to run a variety of volunteer groups across our sites in order to help maintain and improve the areas. Earlier in the month we had our annual visit from the Kingston Cadets. Kingston Police Cadets are a youth group for people aged 10 -19 who’s aim is to support crime reduction in the local community. They visit the Isle of Wight every year and take part in a variety of activities including carrying out practical work on our sites. There were 24 eager and fantastic volunteers and they did a brilliant job adding surfacing to the paths and cutting back vegetation & trees which were encroaching onto the paths. Their hard work was much appreciated and we hope to have them back next year. We have also had several sessions working with volunteers from Sainsbury’s who have been allowed the opportunity to volunteer for Gift to Nature during their regular working hours in an effort to help to improve their local community. Everyone who has attended the volunteer sessions has done fantastic work as they have been able to improve the paths around Golden Hill Country Park and have begun work on the new orchard area which will be created at the entrance of the site. The work they have done has been extremely beneficial for the site and very much appreciated, as volunteer work is an important part of enabling us to carry out the much needed work on the sites. We will keep you updated on the exciting developments at Golden Hill and the progress of the newly created orchard. 
 

The Brading Faerie Festival & Woodfair is just over a week away and so the Gift to Nature team is working hard to ensure that all of the necessary ground work and preparations are being carried out to ensure that we are ready for the event. You may have noticed Faerie Festival signs dotted around by our sites and on the side of roads which we have put out on site visits to inform people about the events. Nick and I have also been working hard strimming, cutting back and opening up Bulleys Pit in preparation for the event, spending several days ensuring that it is looking pristine. After several years of carrying out maintenance the site is maturing and becoming more established, improving every year. Be sure to come down to the event on the 15th September and enjoy all of the stalls, activities and events which have been put on for your enjoyment. 

That’s all for this month folks, hopefully see you next week in your best faerie costumes. 

Ed 

Apprentice Countryside Ranger

The Kingston Police cadets at Golden Hill
Golden Hill 

New National Trust Agreement 

 
Gift to Nature has been working with the National Trust in Ventnor to produce a Grazing Agreement for our site at Nansen Hill. This will allow the National Trust and their grazier to move cows between National Trust property and Nansen Hill. This will provide much needed conservation management for the site starting in the autumn/winter. This is following work to improve the fencing and gates'.

Shop News  
Supporting Local


Keeping with our fairy theme we have a gorgeous selction of garden statues including these delightul iron fairies. We also have a brand new range of locally produced candles made from environmentally friendly soy wax. If you haven't been to our Newport shop yet, do check it out, as we are always increasing our range and have a great selection of products that are kinder to the environment, including biodegradable poo bags for all those of you that enjoy our sites with your four legged friends ;) 
  

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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