Snakelock anemones, breadcrumb sponge and leathery sea squirts, the undiscovered and curiously named world of marine life under one of our best-known landmarks, the iconic Ryde Pier, is the focus of ‘Under The Pier’ again this year. 

This most unusual of Island nature events, pop-up pier-pooling, is run by Arc and Artecology and this year takes place on the last day of the school summer holidays, Sunday 3rd September.

Ian Boyd from Arc explains:

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“The marine wildlife of the low-tide Ryde pier is found nowhere else on the Island and is sufficiently special to bring visiting biologists throughout the year. But you don’t have to be a specialist to explore this undiscovered natural world just yards from one of the Island’s busiest entry points and Ryde’s main streets and arcades – just curiosity and perhaps a guidebook!

“There are very few piers in the UK that have the advantage of Ryde’s long sandflats, making exploration easy and relatively accessible. Being Under The Pier itself, the sounds, light and shade, make for an extra-magical experience. Combine this with spectacular sponge gardens and rich anemone fields that have sprung up on and around this 203-year old architectural wonder and you have a very memorable event.

“People come back year after year and are still talking about the thrill of discovering an incredible new side to such a familiar sight”.

Arc and Artecology are environmental companies. Arc works to bring ecology to the heart of development, shaping better places for people and wildlife, while Artecology is all about bringing biodiversity to the built environment from sea walls to cities through bioactive sculpture and ornament. Public outreach, through pop-up events and workshops are at the heart of all their CSR work, revealing how nature is a lifelong inspiration, free for all to explore.

With help from a grant from Ryde Town Council, Under the Pier has a colourful new microsite, www.underthepier.space, where you can find out more about the event, the pier and its wildlife, plus keep an eye out for more or our Pier wildlife celebrations elsewhere.

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Under The Pier 2017 is on Sunday 3rd September between 14:30-16:30. Meet on the west side of Ryde Pier and make sure to bring a net and wear wellies. It’s a free event for all.

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