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News

Recording Now Newsletter – Issue 2 – out now

The latest edition of ‘Recording Now’ the species recording newsletter from the IWLRC / iWatch Wildlife is available now (more…)

Bird Walk at Shalfleet Quay 13th January 2018

11 People attended the above meeting on a bright but windy and cold day. (more…)

Recorders’ Conference 2018

The Recorders’ Conference is on Saturday 3rd February 2 – 4.30pm in the Arreton Community Centre, Main Rd Arreton (more…)

New Year Plant Hunt 2018 – the results

The dates for this year’s event were set by the BSBI as 30th December 2017 – 2nd January 2018. The weather was mixed in the final days of December, but a check of a weather forecast site  predicted overcast conditions on the Isle of Wight for 30th December. However no rain was forecast until after dark, so a group of nine set off northwards from Winchester House car park to explore Lake cliffs. This was new territory for all of us!

We walked down Littlestairs path, along the Esplanade to Ferncliff path, back up to the cliff to make a brief detour to Battery Gardens and then returned to our starting point along the cliff top path two hours later.

New Year Plant Hunt rules require the flowers to have anthers or stigmas visible to qualify as ‘flowering’. Around the car park and on our way to the cliff, we found creeping buttercup, daisy, common cat’s ear, and winter heliotrope. On the cliff face we found broom, gorse, and greater periwinkle. Looking along the talus slope and behind the beach huts at the base of the cliff provided the opportunity to add naturalised plants such as red-hot poker and Hebe ‘Blue gem’ to our list.

Hydrangea proved to be the subject of much debate -could we count it or not? ‘When is a flower not a flower?’ – when you are observing are sterile bracts and there are no anthers or stigmas, it doesn’t count!!

Re-ascending the cliff gave us a pot marigold flower in pristine condition. The walls around Battery Gardens enabled us to find ivy-leaved toadflax, pellitory-of-the-wall and Sicilian chamomile and there was a primrose in flower at the edge of the grass. A quick tally from the mobile phone screen gave an approximate total of 45 species so far, so a target of 60 was set. The clifftop yielded a fine specimen of field scabious and a patch of red valerian amongst others. Back at the car park our provisional total was 58, so much searching under fences and on walls occurred to find keel-fruited cornsalad and trailing bellflower.

Checking of the results later made our total 61, though the BSBI website does not entirely agree; that comes down to the group leader’s issues with the mobile phone app recording form! However, we were top of the leader board for quite some time until the Swanage and Cornwall groups got going! And yes, the weather kept dry for us, except for the briefest of showers at Battery Gardens. The  final results are here.

 

Geology Walk – Saturday 24th February 2018

Saturday 24th February 2018, 10.00 a.m. Geology walk down Shepherd’s Chine and on to Atherfield Point to look at the effects of coastal erosion and the type of fossils to be found on the shoreline. (more…)

Bird meeting, Yarmouth 10th December 2017

Unfortunately, the meeting was abandoned because of storm force winds and squally showers.

 

New Year Plant Hunt

The dates for the official NYPH are now on the BSBI website (http://bsbi.org/new-year-plant-hunt) and it is 30th December to 2nd January.  The botany group expedition is planned for Saturday afternoon 30th December (with reserve date on Monday 1st January if we are rained off on Saturday). Feel free to do your own expedition in a convenient location as well!

Location Lake Cliffs, meeting at the car park by Winchester House SZ588 826 at 13.30 aiming to finish by 15.30, and  walking down the cliff path to the beach, along the beach to the north, back up the next cliff path and back along the top of the cliff to the cars.

Dodnor Rediscovered – Volunteers wanted

You will be pleased to hear that the a recent bid to the HLF by Natural Enterprise was successful and with the HLF grant and funding from Vestas, the Island 2000 trust and Gift to Nature, Island 2000 are managing a project to learn more about the industrial archaeology and nature conservation at Dodnor Cement Kiln. Ruth Waller (Past Wight Heritage Consultancy) will be running the archaeological activities and Mark Russell (of Green Gym) will be running the nature conservation activities.

If you are interested in getting involved, or you know anyone who would be interested, please do contact the email addresses on the poster (link below) and feel free to let anyone else know who you think may be interested.

Dodnor Redicovered Volunteer advert

Tuesday 14 November Shorwell to Atherfield

Eight members met at Shorwell parish hall on a dull, overcast morning for a walk across fields to Atherfield. Alan Phillips led the group. Initially walking up Corve Hill – referring to ‘a cutting, gap or pass’ – we turned off on a footpath leading up to Hill Heath with its panoramic views. Vicky Basford, who had helped reconnoitre the walk a few days earlier (but was not able to be present on the day), had identified long linear boundaries in the area, forming boundaries of large closes and indicating poor quality farming in the medieval period. Haslett Farm in the near distance was originally Haresclad in 1294: ‘the valley frequented by hares’, occupied in the 13th century by Robert Carpenter of Hareslade, who administered the lands of the de Insula family of West Court, then called the manor of South Shorwell. The group observed the abandoned Smallmoor buildings, which were occupied in recent living memory. (more…)

Looking at the Countryside – Niton walk, Fri 1 December

The Looking at the Countryside walk on Friday 1 December has been shortened, to the Undercliff via the Cripple Path, rather than St Rhadagund’s Path. Details on the Forthcoming Meetings page.