The Wight Walks

Our little Island has long been adored for its outstanding natural beauty. From the Royal connections to the unique sub-climate in Ventnor, that allows many tropical plants to flourish and our gorgeous coast and the panoramic views, we really are very lucky indeed.

That said, with work, family or just generally busy lives, it can be all too easy to forget our beautiful surroundings. Add to the that the seemingly longer winters, shorter summers and increasingly unpredictable weather, getting outside and enjoying nature’s bounty is becoming increasingly more challenging. It’s time to take a leaf out of the tourism book and go beyond our back gardens. There has to be a reason why more than 2 million visitors continue to holiday here each year. Right?

There are countless reasons why walking and being outdoors is generally great. Bonding or romance – stepping into the tranquillity of nature allows you to focus on who you are with (or indeed yourself) without unwanted distractions. The peace and quiet of nature can help you better connect with family and friends too. On the next sunny day, why not pack a Prosecco picnic and grab lunch with a friend on Brading Down

Going for walks on Island allows you to explore your heritage. For example, did you know, at Golden Hill Country Park , the swanky new apartments used to be a military watch tower to give a 360 degree view over the Island and keep it safe. Or, are there personal connections to you and your family? Where did your parents play as children, did you swim in the sea as when you were younger? Walks are fantastic for reminiscing as well as creating new memories.

Walking is an inexpensive activity, you can also save money by picking your own fruit throughout summer and autumn. Pay a visit to our community orchard in Sandown. Apple and blackberry pie anyone?   To keep your walks interesting, plan out a route that passes a blackberry bush or one where you can see the Island’s wildlife. Parkhurst Forest  is a great place to view the infamous red squirrel population or in the Spring you’ll be hard-pushed to miss the rabbits all over the countryside but if youre lucky you might spott a water vole along the riverbank.

Next time you find yourself with a Saturday afternoon free checkout our interactive map  which can help you choose your next adventure. Or perhaps you’re bored of internet shopping on your lunch break? Plenty of our sites are still in urban areas, Pan Mill Meadows,  is a five minute walk from ASDA in Newport and it’s a peaceful spot amongst the hustle and bustle. You can sit by the river in the sunshine and eat your sarnie, rather than being cooped up indoors and listening to your colleague’s summer holiday plans.

Be sure to keep your smartphone with you to check out how many steps you’ve added into the day too, there’s nothing quite like exercise when it doesn’t feel like exercise.


The Outdoor Mindfulness Guide

Here at Gift to Nature HQ we’re always looking for ways to improve and this month we thought we would share a mindfulness technique that will get you walking in the great outdoors and enjoying all the beauty our little Island has to offer.

If you’re even a smidgen into self-care, you’ll already be au fait with mindfulness and all the wondrous health benefits related to it. For those who don’t know, put simply, mindfulness is the art of practicing a mental state that focuses awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting the feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations that pass you by. Continue reading

Prize draw: a new name for Sandown Wetland Community Orchard

Prize draw: a new name for Sandown Wetland Community Orchard

– Draw is now closed –

Tell us what you think, and win a prize worth up to £64!

With money from the Big Lottery Fund we’re starting work to enhance Sandown Community Orchard and Wetland Walk in 2018. Thanks to Big Lottery Players we will put in a boardwalk, a new gate, some new benches, a board telling the story of the site and improve the hedge. We also want to get more people to use it, so we are going to need to show people what it can offer, how they can use the free fruit. We decided it needs a new name too.

Go to the prize draw survey page

Continue reading

Come and get dirty with us!



Volunteer opportunities at the
“Mummies Caves” at Dodnor




The HLF funded Dodnor Rediscovered Project will be running volunteering opportunities to get involved in archaeological and environmental work at the Cement Kiln site and Dodnor Creek Local Nature Reserve,

Interested in Nature Conservation?

If you’d like to find out more about the practical sessions which will start in January 2018 and continue through to summer 2018 on this internationally important site please email Mark Russell at

Interested in Archaeology?

Archaeology training sessions will be held in January to April 2018 and the field work will be carried out March to August 2018. For more information and to register your interest to volunteer email:

Or call Natural Enterprise Shide Meadows Centre on 296244



The Gift to Nature Auction


If you are a winner in the online auction you should get an email telling how to pay. If you didn’t get the email or you won with a bid at the Gala Dinner (ie not online) then please get in touch with us. 

Following our fantastic Enchanted Woodland Gala Dinner, we are continuing the auction online – go to our special auction website to see the lots and place your bid. If you bid on a lot at the Gala Dinner your bid will be the starting price for the auction – so keep an eye on it and you’ll see if you are outbid!

Auction runs from Monday 30 October until midnight on Sunday 12 November 2017

Go to auction

  • Cat James

Return to the mummies’ caves: new £63K project at Dodnor

Heritage Lottery funds £63,800 project on Newport’s industrial heritage

The Island 2000 Trust will be delivering a new project worth over £63000 after securing grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Vestas Technology UK. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players and donated by the local wind turbine technology firm, the project aims to conserve and enhance the historic cement kilns at Dodnor known as the Mummies’ Caves, and improve the nature reserve at Dodnor Creek. Continue reading

Get your apples now!

There is a lot of free fruit to be had this year – and our community orchards have got some for you!

These apples are at Sandown Wetlands, Longwood Lane – just by the cycletrack. You can also find over 100 fruit trees free for the picking at Pan Country Park off Pan Lane, and there are more apples and cherries growing at Merstone Station.