Under the Pier is the Isle of Wight’s end of summer celebration of the curious world and incredible marine life under Ryde Pier. Each year, on a low, low tide, hundreds of people and dozens of marine species come together, with the help of a raft of experts, for this mad, magic, narrowest and often wettest of outdoor adventures.
Run by a volunteer team of ecologists and community artists from environmental organisations Arc, Artecology and The Common Space, the event is always free for everyone and all you need to join in are nets, buckets and wellies.
Checking the pier for anemones, the eel grass for stalked jellyfish and making it all the way to the end to explore the mythical ‘sponge gardens’ have become a key ingredient to summer and the Island’s wildlife calendar.
Claire Hector from Arc and Artecology explains:
“We started Under the Pier 6 years ago to help people celebrate the place, character and the remarkable natural world at Ryde Pier. There’s been a huge, global increase in awareness of marine biodiversity since then and Under the Pier is a great reminder that you don’t have to travel far to learn more.
“At an Island gateway, alongside Ryde’s shops and arcades, there’s this extraordinary example of the UK’s intertidal zone, unique in its long sandflats and in the way the 200+ year old Pier provides toe holds and habitat for such a range of marine wildlife. It’s architecturally fascinating under the Pier too and all proof that we can build in ways that make space for nature. And this is all there for anyone to re-discover for inspiration, learning or wellbeing, time and again”.
Ian Boyd, Arc and Artecology lead ecologist (or the one with the biggest net!) adds:
“Our work is in integrating wildlife, landscape and communities to shape better places. Under the Pier is a simple, happy example of all that, and of the principles that help make the Isle of Wight a fantastic UNESCO Biosphere Reserve… a creative, resourceful coastal community protecting and celebrating its unique environment and biodiversity!”
Under The Pier 2019 is on Friday 30th August between 15:30 and 18:00, come rain or shine.
All welcome! Bring a net, a bucket and wear wellies… expect to get splashed! Meet at the western side of Ryde Pier – PO33 2DL. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information, visit www.underthepier.space.
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