(7 June 2021) Bird boxes and bug hotels are been offered to the people living along Fishbourne Lane on the Isle of Wight as part of Wightlink’s aim to encourage biodiversity in and around its nearby port.
In early 2020, Wightlink set about creating a host of ecologically-friendly features at the Fishbourne terminal – including a planting programme designed to provide wildlife with habitat, food or nesting opportunities.
Keen to involve Island business and charities in the project, Wightlink worked with Aspire Ryde’s Men in Sheds group to build the bird and bat boxes; bug hotels and plants were supplied by the Wootton-based social enterprise Care in the Garden.
Thanks to Fishbourne Parish Council, the nesting boxes and bug hotels are now being distributed to local residents who would like to put them up in their gardens, ready for next year’s nesting season.
Unfortunately, the pandemic delayed the ferry company’s plans to distribute the bird, bat and bug boxes to people in Fishbourne last year so they could be in place ready for this year’s nesting season.
Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield says: “As a shipping operator, we are passionate about operating as sustainably as possible. Victoria of Wight, England’s first hybrid-energy ferry, uses 17 per cent less fuel than a conventional ferry of the same type and we are constantly looking at more ways to support and enhance the Island’s special environment.
“At Fishbourne, we are lucky to host a range of wildlife, from red squirrels to woodpeckers and we’ve even seen the newly introduced white-tailed eagles soaring above our ferries. We feel it is important to do what we can to provide habitat for creatures large and small, both on land and in the water – our artificial rockpools on our harbour wall are another example of this.
“We hope by sharing nesting boxes and bug hotels with our neighbours in Fishbourne Lane we can encourage even more wildlife to thrive in the area.”
Becky Fisher, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust Acting Director of Advocacy and Engagement, says: “In order for nature to recover we need many more people on nature’s side. I’m delighted to see our partners at Wightlink taking action to help local communities become more connected to nature and support local wildlife and biodiversity. This is a great example of the work we are doing across our two counties as part of Team Wilder programme. I hope that those people who have received one of the boxes will be lucky enough to see an increase in wildlife as a result and we look forward to hearing their updates”.
Residents of Fishbourne Lane who would like a nesting box, bat box or bug hotel should contact Fishbourne Parish Council.
Fishbourne Parish Councillor Sarah Talbot with David Thomas and Kate Garnham from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Martin Gulliver from Wightlink