The Isle of Wight’s Footprint Trust and a local conservation group ‘Green Gym’ rolled up their sleeves to create a drought-tolerant garden in a bed at the front of Dinosaur Isle. Experts in the Council’s Parks & Countryside section have designed the planting that should also be resistant to salt spray in this exposed coastal location.
The scheme that was an initial idea from the Footprint Trust has been created due to concerns about Climate Change, which is causing a dramatic transformation in weather patterns, leading to record breaking heat waves and droughts across Europe.
“If carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to be increased by human activities the environment will warm up to a climate suitable for dinosaurs.” Said Ray Harrington-Vail of the Footprint Trust.
The garden will require little or no artificial watering and will also be beneficial to birds and butterflies. Plants chosen include, spurge, ice plant, seakale, sea holly, silver spear, fountain grass and New Zealand flax. This scheme is part of the Footprint Trust’s Waterworks project supported by the AONB Sustainable Development Fund and EU Leader+. It links to the IW Council’s One Million Blooms initiative, which seeks to create drought-friendly planting in parks and open spaces.
In addition to planting the scheme will be complemented by the use of feature rocks and gravel mulch locally sourced from Bardon Vectis. Island Waste Compost derived from recycled garden waste will also be used to avoid peat-based products.
Some 30 volunteers including local residents took part in the planting day.
Peter Pusey of Dinosaur Isle said, ‘…last year Dinosaur Isle achieved a Green Island gold standard award, and with this new garden we are hoping to maintain that gold standard. This exciting and innovative drought-tolerant garden will save the museum £500 a year on buying bedding plants however it will more importantly mean that we will no longer need to use 1000’s of litres of water a year on irrigation.’