Looking at the Countryside Friday 15th July 2016 Hurstake to Dodnor

It made a pleasant change to have dry fairly warm weather for the sixteen members and one very well behaved dog, Louie,who met at the Medina Park Picnic Site for a walk beside the Medina estuary to Dodnor and back along the cycle -path.There was much wildlife from start to finish as well as a little local history.

First stop was the Hurstake foot bridge to admire a stone statue of a contemplative sitting lady, inscribed with the artists initials SFE and dated 2007.Nearby is a pentagram inscribed with geological destinations:Nile Delta;Gurnard;Tuvalu (a group of atolls in the South Pacific);Texcel (an island off the coast of the Netherlands) and the Sunderbans (a National Park in Bangladesh).

Stone statue of the contemplative lady

Stone statue of the contemplative lady (photo:Hazel Trevan)

The group then proceeded towards Ship and Launch House and Newport Rowing Club.

Today no evidence exists of the 19th century Hurstake Shipyard where many naval frigates were built and launched into the Medina  Estuary.As well as the shipyard there was a public house, The Ship and Launch.When the public house ceased trading the building was converted into a private dwelling which still retains the name Ship and Launch House


Looking towards Dodnor (photo:Dave Trevan)

Newport Rowing Club has been at Hurstake since 1863. (more…)

Flagship Ponds – Free Event Saturday 16th July, 11.00am – 3.00pm

Bouldnor Forest Ponds – Water Blitz and identifying Pillwort. Click here to read flyer.

Notice of forthcoming Geology Meetings

Two outdoor meetings led by Steve Hutt are scheduled for later in the year.

(1) Saturday 23 July 10 am from the National Trust carpark at Rocken End, Niton (SZ494758), also known as Windy Corner. This is at the west end of Old Blackgang Road (marked Sandrock Road on some maps), along the Undercliff.

(2) Sunday 25 September 11 am at Totland Bay (SZ322867) from the seafront carpark.


Looking at the Countryside – Newtown National Nature Reserve, 17 June

12 Members attended the above meeting with Helen Parry (National Trust Warden) and Hilary Higgins (National Trust Volunteer). This was in celebration of the 21st year of the Reserve being formed into a National Nature Reserve.

Geological Ramble – 16 July 2016

Saturday, 16th July, 2016
A geological ramble on the closed railway from Shide to Sandown
Prof Stephen K. Donovan
Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, the Netherlands

Start time: 9.30 Saturday 16th July, 2016

Start point: Shide. South side of B 3401 on National Cycle route 23
adjacent to information board about John Milne (more…)

Bioblitz 2016-A visit to the Brickfield Site

Half a dozen members of the botany section volunteered to go to the Brickfields site to record plants as part of this years Bioblitz at Newtown. Part of the attraction was the promise of a boat trip to this site which is inaccessible by other means. At just after eight am on 2nd June we assembled at Shalfleet Quay where we were met by the harbourmaster who was to take us to the site.We had not bargained for the bitterly cold weather as we waited to don our buoyancy aids.

The harbourmaster explained that the landing stage at Brickfields was damaged in  the winter and that landing would be difficult, so we were going to be taken by launch to a buoy close by and that we would then transfer by a smaller boat (a dory) to the site.

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Dactylorhiza fuchsii (photo:Dave Trevan)

All this seemed very exciting to those of us not accustomed to being on the water.Once under  way we forgot about the cold and enjoyed the trip.

The Brickfields site was warm and tranquil in comparison, and it was exciting to go to an area that no one else visits or records.


Friday, 3rd June 2016 Parkhurst Forest evening Nightjar walk.

 Ten people turned out on a lovely evening. As we had about three quarters of an hour before dusk we had a circular walk round the area near the main car park making our way to the clearing near Tuckers Gate. We heard Wren, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Nightingale, and saw Jay. Throughout the walk and right up until nightfall we heard many Song Thrushes singing. Churring of a Nightjar was heard on our approach to the clearing and after a little wait we saw first one Nightjar flying and a little while later two flew around in front of us. We were pleased to see them but rather disappointed that there was not more activity. Maybe flying moths and insects were in short supply after the high winds we had earlier in the week. No Woodcock put in an appearance this year. Jackie Hart

Giant Cranesbill (Geranium maderense) Undercliff Drive, Ventnor

Geranium maderense

Geranium maderense on Undercliff Drive,looking towards St. Lawrence (Photo:Dave Trevan)

It is worth taking a visit to Ventnor at the moment to see the truly amazing planting of the “Giant Cranesbill” (Geranium maderense) that have been planted opposite Ventnor Botanic Garden.The species is also called the “Madeiran Storksbill” or “Giant Herb Robert”.


This magnificent planting comprising several hundred plants, is in full flower at the moment and I would guess is the largest planting of this magnificent species to be seen in this country if not the world! (more…)

Looking at the Countryside-Yarmouth Walk 8th May 2016

Yarmouth Walk

27 members meet at the Boatyard  near Saltern Wood Quay for a walk led by Helen Danby and Michele Van Buren. First of all Helen took us round her 8 acre wood, Saltern Wood East which was looking particularly beautiful with a grand display of Bluebells and Wood Anemones

Bluebells” (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) at Salterns Wood (Photo:Dave Trevan)

There were many Blackcaps singing and the odd Pheasant was heard calling. Blackbird, Buzzard,, Dunnock, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Chaffinch, and Woodpigeon were also seen or heard.


“Tree Mallow”Lavatera arborea Norton Spit

Photo:Dave Trevan

Our walk took us down Gasworks Lane and noted Jay and Green Woodpecker. As we passed the extensive area of reeds we could hear the explosive call of the Cetti’s warbler. (more…)

Geology Meeting – 12 March 2016

On 12th March the Geology section met at Dinosaur Isle museum in Sandown, for the first time in several years.

Members were greeted by Steve Hutt, the new leader. He outlined the objectives of the section, and briefly recounted his one-time joint leadership of the section with Keith Marston. Since then, Steve has played a leading role in the Geological Society of the Isle of Wight, which was regrettably disbanded last year.

The meeting then enjoyed a whistle-stop photographic journey around the entire coast of the Island by Trevor Price, who illustrated the great variety of sedimentary rocks and geomorphology that exists on our doorstep.

Two outdoor meetings led by Steve Hutt are scheduled for later in the year.

(1)  Saturday 23 July 10 am from the National Trust carpark at Rocken End, Niton (SZ494758), also known as Windy Corner. This is at the west end of Old Blackgang Road (marked Sandrock Road on some maps), along the Undercliff.

(2)  Sunday 25 September 11 am at Totland Bay (SZ322867) from the seafront carpark.

Mike Cotterill