With financial support from the Isle of Wight Council we have built a cycle path through Afton North Marsh. This should improve access all year round, but please remember it is a marsh so there will be times when the path is wet.

Gift to Nature have opened a tree nursery. Our aim is to grow native trees that can be planted on our sites and at other sites across the Island.

How you can help

Any trees you have grown from seed will be gratefully received.

We need all sizes of pots to grow our trees in. Plastic is great and it doesn’t matter if they are a bit tatty. Donations can be left on the pallet outside our gate at any time.

The Gift to Nature planting guide

We have produced a planting guide to make sure trees have the best chance of survival. You can download it by clicking here.

We are making short films of all our sites and we are needing lovely stills to insert. We know we have a talented pool of friends and supporters so we are hoping that you might be able to help us. These can be of views, of people enjoying the site, and we would particularly love some of the nature. We will also use them in future newsletters and on our website. This super bumblebee was supplied by Derek Bampton, who is also one of the wonderful volunteers in our shop.
If you have any photos, or are able to help us by visiting sites with your camera, please email to [email protected] . You are also welcome to contact Carol on 01983 296244.

This summer we are offering free events on many of our sites across the Island. They are open to anyone, whatever your age. To book your free place, email: [email protected].

The  National Lottery Community Fund are funding Access for All – a new Gift to Nature project.

The aim of the project is to make all 31 Gift to Nature sites more accessible and fulfilling for everyone to enjoy. An important first step has been the appointment of a Gift to Nature Engagement Officer.

Graham Biss, Managing Director of Natural Enterprise who manage the Gift to Nature sites said:

“ Many of the Gift to Nature sites are relatively small but no less important to their local community, as custodians of the sites we are keen for everyone to benefit from them. Key to the success of this project will be the improvements to the individual sites and the appointment of a person to work with local people to develop and deliver a range of activities and volunteering opportunities. We also understand not everyone can visit our sites so we intend to create a “Nature at Home” sensory experience. This initiative would not have been possible without the support of the National Lottery Community Fund Reaching Communities”.  

People will be able to get involved with this project in a range of ways to include volunteering to help maintain the Gift to Nature sites, use of the sites for exercise or just to visit and enjoy the natural environment.

Natural Enterprise is keen to help increase the awareness of the important role the natural environment plays in everyone’s health and wellbeing and to provide the confidence for people to explore more of the Gift to Nature sites. If you would like more information about this project or Gift to Nature please contact Natural Enterprise on (01983) 296244 or email [email protected]

It was great to see so many people at our Bug Hotel Workshop at Pan Country Park. Please sign up to our newsletter to find out about forthcoming events.

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.

– 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

Gift to Nature is looking for a new name for the beautiful little bit of countryside by the cycletrack at Sandown Waterworks, Longwood Lane (near Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club). Here you can find giant wooden carvings of fruit, real fruit trees with apples and plums to scrump, a pond, and a footbridge over the nearby waterway.

Answer a few questions and you can vote on a name for this popular local picnic spot, and enter a draw to win a tree climbing experience for two worth £64 at Goodleaf Tree Climbing (suitable for anyone aged 8 or over – or an ideal gift!)

Go to the prize draw survey page

Want to volunteer opportunities at the “Mummies Caves” in 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 [email protected].

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: [email protected]

Or call Natural Enterprise Shide Meadows Centre on 296244