Princess Royal visits Wildlife Trust’s Bouldnor Forest

© Michael Dunkason

This week we welcomed HRH The Princess Royal to our nature reserve near Yarmouth

The Lord Lieutenant Sir Martin White hosted The Princess Royal as part of a planned visit to the Island

During her visit to Bouldnor Forest nature reserve, The Princess Royal met participants at the Wildlife Trust’s weekly Woodland Therapy sessions.  Woodland Therapy offers adults with mental health issues the chance to spend time in a beautiful natural setting, take part in activities such as campfire cooking and learn skills like willow weaving and wood carving.  The project, which has been running for a number of years, has a significant impact on wellbeing – providing real support to those who take part.. 

Princess Royal hearing about Woodland therapy

© Michael Dunkason

The visit also allowed The Princess Royal to meet the Wildlife Trust’s new Woodland Apprentices.   Thanks to support from Heritage Lottery Fund and other partners, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is able to offer training to four young people each year.

The apprentices help deliver essential conservation on the Island at the same time as gaining valuable experience and learning traditional skills, such as coppicing and hurdle making. The first group, who completed their apprenticeship earlier in the year, have all gone on to gain good employment in the field.

Princess Royal watching the Woodland Apprentices at work

© Michael Dunkason

Commenting on the visit, Debbie Tann, Chief Executive of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: “We were extremely honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness to our nature reserve and share some of the important work that we do on the Island to look after wildlife and connect people with nature." 

“Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust looks after 11 nature reserves across the Island and we work with many land owners and partners to create space for wildlife.  We also help hundreds of children, adults and families enjoy the fantastic natural environment on their doorstep. 

"We are very grateful for the Princess Royal’s interest in our work and it was a real pleasure to meet her and speak about the vital role of nature in all of our lives.”