L-R: Ollie Caulfield, Harli Daniel, Marni Daniel and Amelia Janvrin at the pond dipping station


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More than 7,000 people stepped outside to explore their local environment at The New Carnival Company’s (NCC) All Along the Riverbank festival on May Day (Monday 6th May).

This free community arts and countryside event featured lots of May Day fun, with visitors taking part in pond dipping, mud kitchen, storytelling, mosaic making, woodland crafts and much more on the cycle track between Sandown and Newchurch, alongside the River Yar.

Various soundscapes and creative art installations including The Green Man of Alverstone could be found along the two-mile trail. The Green Man was crafted by NCC’s Gina Dyer and has been left up in the trees so passers-by can observe how nature transforms him over time, and also be inspired to think about their changing surroundings.

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Frankie Goldspink at NCC said:

“We were overwhelmed by the scale and diversity of the audience for this unique outdoor event. All the feedback has been amazing with many people commenting on the benefits to both health and the better understanding of the world in which we live in.  We know its early days, but we are already planning how to further develop All Along the Riverbank for 2020.”

Entertainment in the May Field included dancing from Whitgar Morris, Moonshine Border Morris and music from Millicent’s Favourites. The event was supported by partners within the East Wight Landscape Project called Down to the Coast, and local organisations providing information and activities about the nature, culture and heritage of the area included IW Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Hampshire and IW Wildlife Trust and Brading Roman Villa.

Peter Fellows from Down to the Coast said:

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“Wow, what a fantastic day. It was great to see so many people of all ages out enjoying the countryside, discovering new things about our river wildlife and being inspired by the wonderful art installations and heritage activities that lined the riverbank. Huge thanks go to all those who made it happen and of course to the players of National Lottery who made it possible”.

NCC is now gearing up for the IW Mardi Gras, where more than 1000 children and adults from local schools and community groups will take to the streets of Ryde in costumes reflecting the theme of Biosphere Island. This supports IW AONB’s bid for the Island to become a UNESCO Global Biosphere, with the decision on this expected in June, just a few days before the Mardi Gras parade on Saturday 29th June.


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