Led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, this project established a new nature reserve on 10 hectares of marshland at Adgestone. This was the final piece in the jigsaw that secured in conservation management an unbroken 8km stretch of the lower River Yar river from Bembridge Harbour to Alverstone.
Alverstone Marsh Restoration
Much of Alverstone Marsh is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This recognises it as being of national importance for its geology and biodiversity. Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers wroked to clear willow and alder scrub to improve the condition of rare fen habitat in the SSSI and to restore it as a functioning floodplain of the River Yar.
Bohemia Bog is one of the most important botanical sites of the Island. It is a transition mire of little over 0.1ha and is believed to be the only site on the Island where Pale Butterwort is found and the carnivorous Sundew is also present. In recent years this unique habitat has been disappearing under bramble and gorse. However, now thanks to the intervention of the Hampshire and IW Wildlife Trust the scrub is being removed to enable the sympathetic management of the site for its wildlife value.
Morton Marsh Nature Reserve
Morton Marsh was degraded wetland pasture at the time of its acquisition by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust in 2016. Since then many hundreds of volunteer hours have helped restore the marshland. Scrub has been cleared, abandoned drains re-established, new ponds established and fencing erected to allow management through grazing. In 2019 a Sand martin nesting bank was constructed with spoil from a large new scrape and a a new viewing platform constructed to offer views across the site.
Sandown Meadows forms part of the lower Yar floodplain. It is owned and managed by the Hants and IW Wildlife Trust as a Nature Reserve. The introduction of new scrapes and the removal of willow scrub is improving the quality of habitat for wetland and overwintering birds and the erection of new fencing has enabled its management by grazing.
Hampshire and IW Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers cleared large areas of blackthorn and bramble scrub from the banks of the Wroxall Stream at the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary to enable more light into the watercourse and improve its habitat value for fish and water vole.
This project was part of the Down to the Coast Programme.