Wightlink Makes A Gift To Nature
Conservation work being undertaken at Sandown Water Meadows by Gift to Nature is to be supported by Wightlink in a new sponsorship for 2011. Wightlink has had a long term relationship of working with Gift to Nature, but has not previously supported a specific nature reserve.
Welcoming the sponsorship initiative, Ian Boyd, Head of Environment for Natural Enterprise said: “Wightlink has been an active supporter of Gift to Nature since we first launched the scheme back at the beginning of the century and we are delighted that they are going to provide some financial backing that will help us achieve our objectives to protect the environment and wildlife at Alverstone, whose wetlands are now something of a national rarity.”
As a first step Wightlink has spotlighted Sandown Meadows in the Wildlife Safari, one of eight walks in the wild featuring in its latest themed booklet, Wight Safaris. Although the biggest draw in this Site of Special Scientific Interest is the resident red squirrel, the water meadows, river bank and ancient woodland that make up the 44-acre reserve near Sandown are also home to many endangered species including water voles, bats and dormice. The safari trail promoted by Wightlink gives walkers a good chance of seeing one or more of these rare creatures.
As part of the ongoing promotional campaign by Wightlink, fundraising appeals on Wightlink TV will help to raise the profile of two of Gift to Nature’s most important campaigns. The Wetland Walk appeal aims to raise the funds, in partnership with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, to buy the wetlands that make up the Wetland Walk, one of the key parts of the Alverstone marshes complex, from their current owner Southern Water. If successful, the land would be turned into a nature reserve, owned and managed by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, to match Alverstone Mead.
A second project, Let it Bee, is an initiative in which Gift to Nature partners with the Isle of Wight Festival to raise awareness of the troubles faced nationally by the dwindling bee population and to take necessary action to protect Island bees.