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Christmas Festivities Winter Walks Last Minute Gift Ideas & Looking to the New Year

Thank You for Your Continued Support 

With Christmas fast approaching, it's somewhat reflective at Gift to Nature HQ. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped support us. Thank you to all of our long-standing, and new supporters. Thank you to our hard-working staff and volunteers. And of course, thanks to all of you, who have come along to any of our events or shopped in our little shop this year. As ever we have continued to grow this year and we can't wait for what is set to be a successful 2019. 

Tis the season of giving after all, so if you're feeling charitable this Christmas then there are still plenty of ways to get involved. You can get those last minute Christmas gifts in the shop, or why not treat yourself to little something for the home or garden. As ever you can always become a new supporter and get discounts all throughout our 2019 calendar. Keep your eyes peeled early next year as it won't be long before we begin working on our 2019 Events Calendar. 

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all the team.

 

Ranger's diary

Hello Readers, 

As we have now entered the dark and cold winter months we have changed our management approach and have been targeting different areas of our sites. As the grass has finally slowed from growing and the birds have left their nests for the winter, we have been able to turn our attention to opening viewpoints, felling dangerous trees and cutting back brambles & hedges in order to clear paths. This allows us to get a head start on the next year, gradually changing & improving our sites for both ecological benefits & for visitors of our site to enjoy. 

In Dickson’s Copse there was a large ash tree situated on the main path which leads visitors around the site. Through our regular site visits, we had noticed that the tree had a large split down the top third of the tree, revealing that large proportion of the tree was hollow and had lost its strength and stability. We were concerned that the tree may fall in bad weather conditions and due to the risk of the tree falling along the path we came to the decision that the tree needed to be felled. Myself, Nick and our ever helpful volunteer Peter Wells were then tasked with the job of felling the large tree along a narrow corridor of a path, being mindful not to hit any other trees or shrubbery to avoid causing any unnecessary damage. With the appropriate preparation and skill, (and some luck), we managed to fell the tree safely along the path without damaging any surrounding trees & shrubbery. From the stem of the main tree, we have managed to create ecological brash piles which wildlife can take shelter in and we have also been able to use a large section of the trunk to create a log seat which overlooks the pond. Be sure to look out for the new log seat when you next visit the site. 

The cows have returned to Brading Down to graze. There are at present 4 cows with the possibility of more at a later date. They are well behaved and quite inquisitive although will keep to themselves.

 

From experience, they are very good at clearing up cut grass after we have finished strimming along the fence. It is important to keep all dogs under control when walking along the downs to ensure that they do not chase after or scare the cows. The cows will most likely keep away from people but it is best to keep all dogs under control and preferably on leads. 

One Horse Field has undergone its annual cutting and raking session, allowing the site to regenerate and ready to flower & flourish for the next year. Green Gym had a hard-working session at the site, raking up any cut grass & clearing loose brash. There have been a variety of areas which have been opened up & cut back in order to improve the site. We have had many kind words and positive feedback about the work at the site so please ensure that you visit and give us your feedback. 

Thank you for your continued support of Gift to Nature, it is very much appreciated. 

Ed, Countryside Ranger

easyfundraising 

What is easyfundraising?

easyfundraising is the UK’s biggest charity fundraising site. It’s simple to use, and it’s free.

How does easyfundraising work?

easyfundraising turns your everyday online shopping into donations for your good cause (that's hopefully us), at no cost to you. How? Just visit your favourite retailers through our website and the shop as normal. Once you’ve made a purchase the retailer will then make a small donation to your cause to say “thank you”.

Now you can feel a little bit better about all those Christmas pennies disappearing. 

Site of the Month - Medina Riverside Park

Did you know that the Medina Estuary is such an important area for nature conservation that it is protected by six different designations under national and international law. It is particularly recognised for its importance for birds, with its large areas of mudflats providing vital feeding grounds for a variety of species. 

 

Medina Riverside Park offers excellent views of the water and the winter months are some of the best times for bird-watching as the estuary is of particular importance to visiting wading birds such as Black-tailed Godwit, Wigeon and Teal that depend on the estuary’s mud and saltmarsh for feeding, roosting and refuge. The birds that feed here throughout the winter are building up the vital energy supplies that they will need to power their onward migration at the end of the season. Each time they are startled into flight they lose some of these essential reserves and their chances of surviving diminish. 

 

Our Gift To Nature site Medina Riverside Park offers a chance to watch the birds at a distance without startling them. We have put picnic tables here, in case you wish to stay a while, or you might wish to quietly perch on the wall alongside Betina of the Medina and if you are lucky the magnificent swans will sail by.

 

The site is at the south end of the Cowes to Newport section of Cycletrack NC23 (Red Squirrel Trail) so fits brilliantly with an afternoon walk or cycle. Alternatively, car parking is available.

Co-op Cause - Freshwater Store 

The Co-op Local Community Fund helps to support local projects that Co-op members (that's you) care about. Since its launch in 2017, Co-op members have raised £39 million pounds for over 12,000 local causes. We’re delighted that Gift To Nature will now be able to access this funding opportunity.
 

How the fund works

Every time you shop in the Co-op Freshwater, 1% of what you spend on Co-op branded products and services helps fund community projects. 

To choose us, sign in to your membership account www.coop.co.uk/membership or call the membership helpline on 0800 023 4708. You can continue to support us this way until November 2019.

Last Minute Shopping 

If you're anything like some of us in the office you may be yet to make your Christmas purchases. This year in the shop we have some lovely Christmassy gift ideas, including, Wild Island dressings, Fruit Bowl jams, Godshill Cherry Orchards Juices and the lovely fudge from Isle of Fudge (made with Briddlesford Dairy milk). All Wight Marque accredited (so you know you're helping our lovely Island all round).

We also have our lifesize nutcracker, so bring the children to come and say hello. We're selling some amazing hand-made wreaths and we will be playing classic Christmas tunes right up until Christmas. 

Our last day will be Saturday 22nd December and we will then be opening on Friday 4th of January. 

 
We've still got some of our 2019 calendars in stock, so if you need some stocking fillers, these could be just right for you. The photo on the right comes from Pete Johnstone and is featured in the calendar. You can get your calendar both in our shop, and online here.

Join Us!

We have created Gift to Nature trail packs, and the good news is they are free to all new supporters. These beautiful illustrations were created by Alan Rowe and we have them for 11 of our sites. They offer you lots of information about each location including the best routes, and what special plants and animals live there. You can also buy the packs individually for £7.99. Packs are available at our shop and also at the Tourism Office in Newport. Or why not join us? From as little as £3.00 per month you can help look after the Island we all love so much. Visit our website to join today

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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