Run each year by a volunteer team of ecologists and community artists at Isle of Wight environmental organisations Arc and Artecology, Under the Pier is a mad, linear rockpooling adventure set up to celebrate the place, character and undiscovered natural world at Ryde Pier.
Ian Boyd, Island ecologist at Arc and Artecology explains:
‘The marine wildlife of the low-tide Ryde pier is found nowhere else on the Island and brings biologists to visit throughout the year. But you don’t have to be a specialist to find opportunities for inspiration and learning there. Just bring a net and bucket and once Under the Pier gets you started, you can return again and again at low tide.
“We’re particularly interested here in exploring how the natural world colonises the built environment and there are spectacular sponge gardens and anemone fields that have sprung up under this 200 year old feat of engineering! There are very few piers in the UK that have the advantage of Ryde’s long sandflats, making exploration possible. Combine that with the sounds, light and new landscape that appears when the tide rolls back under the pier, and it all makes for a memorable experience.
“This will be our 5th Under the Pier and almost every year it’s pouring! Nevertheless, people come back year after year and talk about the thrill of discovery and how this familiar sight becomes somewhere entirely new”.
Species finds are recorded by local project iWatchWildlife and this year, Bird Aware will also be helping spot and ID Solent birdlife.
Under the Pier 2018 takes place this year on Sunday 9th September from 15:30-18:00. Simply turn up and look out for the team on the western side of Ryde Pier. Bring a net and a bucket and definitely wear waterproofs and wellies!
For more information on Under the Pier and what you might find there, visit www.underthepier.space.