Local Community News

BAGS OF HELP FOR THE MEADOWS

Gift to Nature's Matthew Chatfield at Tesco
Gift to Nature’s Matthew Chatfield at Tesco

Shoppers at Tesco stores in Ryde and Lake are being urged to drop a token in the store’s voting box to help fund improvements at Swanmore Meadows in Ryde.

Tesco’s local community grant scheme ‘Bags of Help’ is as a result of the 5p plastic bag levy. The pot of money raised is now being used to fund thousands of community projects across the UK. The nature reserve at Swanmore Meadows in Ryde is one of the nominated projects for the Isle of Wight.

Swanmore Meadows is owned by the Isle of Wight Council and managed by Gift to Nature with ongoing support from Ryde Town Council. It’s a beautiful place, but because there are not many paths the reserve is quite hard to get around and there is still a lot of work to do.

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At the moment there is only one entry point which is practical for people from the eastern side of the site, and it is incredibly muddy from Autumn to Spring, and impassable in the wettest months. So Gift to Nature are campaigning for funds to clear a new route and put a wide, safe boardwalk from the entrance into the Meadow. It will be wide enough for buggies and wheelchairs and easy to follow. There will be a directional sign at the entrance too. This will be especially useful for dog walkers, making a nice circular route that will avoid getting the dog too muddy.

Gift to Nature Manager Matthew Chatfield said:

“With so much support from people in Ryde we have already made a big difference at Swanmore although we’ve only been working on the reserve for one season. We’ve started working on access to Swanmore Meadows from Swanmore and Weeks but we also want people from Oakfield and St Johns to enjoy this lovely site safely.”

Islanders have until 13th November to pop a token in the voting box.

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