Author Archives: Matthew Chatfield

Hedgelayers’ Supper

After our very evening enjoyable knees-up last year we’re repeating it with an informal and fun evening open to all at the Quay Arts.

The hedgelaying competition is free because of the generous support of Landscape Therapy and many other sponsors – but we can always do more. This year we’re raising funds for Gift to Nature and hedgelaying on the Isle of Wight – we’ll be putting on a hedgelaying training event this autumn to encourage some new faces into the 2018 competition. Continue reading

Sandman Snowman 2017

Our annual Sandman Snowman event will take place 19th February at 11am on Small Hope Beach Shanklin.

Do you want to build a sandman?
You bring your wellies and spades. We bring carrots and coal! Free event but donations to Gift To Nature are very welcome. Small Hope Beach Shanklin, next to the sailing club. Continue reading

Return to the Mummies’ Caves!

Last Autumn we mentioned our plans to apply for Heritage Lottery Fund monies to ‘rediscover’ the cement kilns at Dodnor. Affectionately known as ‘the Mummies Caves’ by local children who played there many years ago, the structures have now become overgrown and the site is no longer open to the public for strong safety reasons, and because of the wildlife it now supports.
We have had a lot of positive response, and so we are holding a walk and talk around the site on Saturday 14th January. Continue reading

Nansen Hill

Grazing at Nansen Hill

We have been investigating putting cattle back to graze on Nansen Hill, in partnership with our neighbours the National Trust who already do graze the neighbouring fields. Although we had no plans to start grazing this year, as it turned out, late in November the cattle took things into their own hands and broke through the fence at the top of the site. About nine animals were on Nansen Hill for about ten days. We decided to leave them there for a little while to see how things went, and you may have noticed the signs we put up at the entrance points to let people know that the cattle were on the field. The cattle seemed happy on the site and managed to graze back some areas a bit, and so they are now safely back in the NT fields and we’re considering how to take this forward. Continue reading

Big improvements at Pan Mill Meadows

Big changes are going on at the Pan Mill Meadows nature reserve in Newport. You might have seen us working, part of the area we’re working on is very visible from St George’s Roundabout by Matalan.

So what’s happening?

Gift to Nature has leased more land from the Isle of Wight Council and has also secured funding from the Suez Communities Trust, and Newport Parish Council.

This will extend the reserve and allow for the Freshwater firm of countryside professionals, Landscape Therapy, to carry out improvements. Work is expected to continue until spring 2017. Continue reading

Pig

Name our reserve!

Gift To Nature want to know what to call Ryde’s nature reserve – will you help? The nature reserve south of Quarry Lane, Ryde has various names, and people have told us they want to have a say in what we call it in the future. So now’s your chance to tell Gift To Nature what you think they should call that beautiful bit of countryside.

At present Gift To Nature are calling it Swanmore Meadows, but local people have said that name suggests a housing estate, and not the beautiful woodland and grassland it is.

Beautiful flowers on the restored path, 2016

Beautiful flowers on the restored path, 2016

Continue reading

Vote for Swanmore Meadows!

VOTING HAS FINISHED – we’ll let you know when the results are in

Bags of Help

Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme where the money raised from the five pence plastic bag levy in Tesco stores is being used to fund thousands of community projects across the UK.Tesco Bags of help

The nature reserve at Swanmore Meadows, Ryde, is one of the nominated projects for the Isle of Wight! Swanmore Meadows is managed by Gift to Nature with ongoing support from Ryde Town Council. It’s a beautiful place, but because there are not many paths the reserve is quite hard to get around and we still have a lot of work to do. Continue reading

Pan Pollen Trail carved bench

Pollen-themed arts trail being installed at Pan Country Park

A new arts trail is being created at Pan Country Park; the ‘Pollen Trail’ is funded by cash made available as part of the planning conditions for the new houses built at Pan/Bluebell Meadows near Newport. Pan Country Park is managed by Gift to Nature on behalf of the Isle of Wight Council.

Continue reading

Cattle are back on Brading Down

From September there are as usual cattle on the down, helping us to keep the vegetation down and ensuring a good view for everybody.

If you’ve been up to Brading Down in the last week you will have met our new residents. They are friendly and inquisitive, but like all livestock in the countryside need to be treated with respect.

So please, just like anywhere in the countryside, keep dogs under control on Brading Down, don’t leave any litter and help us ensure it’s a safe place for people and animals.