Going Wild on the Isle of Wight

Going Wild on the Isle of Wight

The vision to build a nature recovery network across the Isle of Wight is growing with a dedicated team on the lookout for local spaces which can be made more nature-friendly. To give wildlife a helping hand, Wilder Wight was launched last year by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust supported by Southern Co-op, which has been supporting the Trust's wilder ambitions since it launched Wilder Portsmouth at the end of 2020.

Gemma Lacey, Director for Sustainability and Communications at Southern Co-op, said: "It has been a pleasure to be involved in Wilder Portsmouth and Wilder Wight and to see these programmes grow and expand their reach into new cities and areas. Our involvement has also helped inspire Southern Co-op members to get involved in helping our natural environment thrive with plans to continue this with some woodland clearing in October.

"A lot of people are aware that helping nature to thrive can help us tackle climate change and build a more sustainable future but they don't know where to start. This is where Wilder Wight comes in. Ideas have included greening community spaces and streets, and improving areas for pollinators, bats, swifts and hedgehogs."

After working with local residents, community groups and organisations on ways to make their spaces wilder, the Wilder Communities Officers are now on the look out for other places in need of inspiration. In time, it is hoped the team might begin working with residents to create a ‘Wilder Street' which has already been successful in Portsmouth.

Joanna​ Ridley, Wilder Communities Officer, said: "We provide individuals, groups and organisations with the advice and support they need to create wilder and more nature-friendly spaces on the Isle of Wight. Supporting people to take care of and improve places that matter to them in ways that are right for them has allowed us to progress some exciting projects so far. We look forward to working with more people moving forward."

For more information on Wilder Wight Communities, visit www.hiwwt.org.uk/wilder-wight-communities or contact wilderwightcommunities@hiwwt.org.