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Issue 42 August '13

Wednesday 28th August 2013

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Access West Wight

We are woring with our partners to create new opportunities for people of all abilities to access and enjoy the stunning landscapes and heritage that the West Wight has to offer. Click on the links below to learn more.

Benchmarks

Fort Victoria Coastal Path Improvements

Needles Old Battery Access Platform

Tactile Horizon Board @ Newtown National Nature Reserve

Robert Hooke Trail

Walk the Forts


Fort Victoria Coastal Path Improvements - We are currently working with the Isle of Wight Council, the Ramblers Association, landowners and local stakeholders to improve sections of the Coastal Path that run through Fort Victoria Country Park.
This will include improvemnts to surfacing and fencing at the Cliff End Battery entrance; rebuilding steps that link the Hurst Castle viewpoint with the former gun carriage road and pavement improvemnets on West Hill Lane. Works are scheduled to begin in late 2010.

New access platform offering views of the Needles

Needles Old Battery Access Platform - All visitors to the Needles Old Battery can now enjoy a stunning view of the Needles. This is thanks to a new platform that we have helped to install, allowing level access from the Battery's parade ground to its outer defensive walls. For the first time it will offer all visitors a clear view of the Needles.


National Trust warden examines new board

Tactile interpretation at Newtown National Nature Reserve - National Trust volunteers at Newtown Nature Reserve have been instrumental in helping to develop a new 'horizon' tactile interpretation board at the site. Over four metres in length the board is made from British grown cedar wood and has been installed close to the Reserve's principal hide.
The board depicts several saltmarsh species that can be found on the Reserve incuding Oystercatchers and Little Egrets. It is intended to appeal to all and also assist those of who are visually impaired.
Further access improvements at the Newtown Reserve include the installation of new pedestrian gates and path widening which, will help less mobile visitors navigation of the site.

Robert Hooke Trail - Has the Isle of Wight produced a more influential individual than the great 17th Century, Freshwater scientist, Robert Hooke? To celebrate the life of this great West Wighter we joined forces with the Hooke Society to publish a pocket sized booklet setting out a scenic circular walk around Hooke's Freshwater.
The booklet is available to purchase for £2 from outlets throughout the Island or by contacting the WWLP office on 01983 759779.

Walk the Forts - As part of our series of new wlaking trails in the West Wight we will shortly be publishing Walk the Forts. Researched by Stephen Fisher of the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology the booklet will lead people on a trail taking in the many forts of the Freshwater penninsula built to protect the western Solent from invaders.
The booklet will be availbe to buy from outlets throughout the Island from November 2010 or by contacting the WWLP office on 01983 759779.


Sunken Secrets - The waters around the Isle of Wight are rich with archaeological remains reflecting human activity from prehistory to more modern times.
Working in partnership with the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology, the WWLP have published a walking guide that encourages the reader to find out more about these forgotten remains and gives a broad overview of the sunken secrets found off the west coast of the Island. The booklet is priced at £2 and can be purchased from outlets across the Island.
As well as the booklet, Sunken Secrets podcasts can be downloaded for free from the HWTMA website www.hwtma.org.uk/sunkensecrets Eight locations are covered in separate downloads that can be played at home on a computer. Alternatively, you can load the podcasts onto an MP3 player or mobile phone and listen to them as you view the scenery at each location. The podcasts contain the same information as the booklet, but presented in a listener-friendly way.

Benchmarks - How do you open a poetry bench? The answer is you sit down ceremoniously, read the poem inscribed on the bench, and admire the stunning view. You then proceed to listen to more poems read in a singularly dramatic location on the edge of an island.

On April 3rd 2011 this is what happened near the Needles Old Battery on a site owned by the National Trust. The bench was designed and commissioned as part of the Shore Women Writers ‘Benchmarks’ project. Over the last year they have used benches in the West Wight as inspiration for writing about individuals’ lives, memory, landscape and loss, and have given performances based on these poems.
The new poetry bench is a tangible marker of all this creative work, and is inscribed with the first verse of WH Auden’s ‘On this Island’. The project is supported by the West Wight Landscape Partnership and has been constructed and engraved by local craftsmen.
The Shore Women Writers have also published an anthology of 34 bench-related poems and in May led participants in the Isle of Wight Walking Festival on a sit down walk round Yarmouth, reading poems at bench stops along the route.