From ammonites and iguanodons to palmate newts and a green tiger beetle, 100 million years of wildlife were uncovered and discovered at the May Day’s Beach Bugs and Bones!

Around 200 people joined Arc and Artercology for this annual, celebration, a mix of art and ecology, or the Bay area’s natural world. The morning started on the ‘Designated Science Beach’ in Sandown, where dozens dived in digging for real fossils (thanks to a loan from Dinosaur Isle) and taking their finds to special ID boards where palaeontologist Jeremy Lockwood from Friends of Dinosaur Isle brought ‘Bones’ back to life. Then there was Marine Life Beach Art and Seashore Gallery, Dribble Towers, Beach-A-Sketch, our multi-purpose Bay Frames to picture yourself in the Bay-scape, and of course a chance to listen to the sea with the zouped-up hydrophone.

Half-time and the whole focus shifted from ‘Beach’ to ‘Bugs’  beyond. With everyone processing along the new Willow Walk (created by the community Payback Service) to the Lost Duver meadows and ponds. A brief tour of proper taxonomy with Ian Boyd gave everyone a heads-up on what’s an insect and what’s not, and they were off. Dozens of visitors of all ages scattered to explore thus newly-forming nature reserve. The most surprising finds were a palmate newt already making a home in the edges of the ponds and the discovery of a seldom-sighted Green Tiger beetle.

Beach, Bugs and Bones is a free event held by the Bay Coastal Community team companies, Arc and Artecology , as part of the Discovery Bay initiative. Ian Boyd, director of both explains its purpose; “The Bay on the Isle of Wight is a place supremely rich in biodiversity. Discovery Bay reveals the extraordinary science and lifelong inspiration of the natural world and events like Beach, Bugs & Bones are a way of capturing and displaying this quality by celebrating 100 million years of wildlife in just one spot. It’s fun and informal, but it shows us time and again that contact with wildlife, the experience of natural places and their ecology and the moments these bring to people, can change minds and outlooks, and in turn adds to health, appeal and value of the place itself.”

The next Discovery Bay event will be Arc’s Dawn Chorus Magic, on Saturday May 13th as 4.30am.

As with Beach, Bugs & Bones, this is also in support of IsleWalk 2017 and again free for everyone. You can find more details here.