Isle of Wild… Supersizing Sandown Bay for Discovery Bay Biology Week

18 October 2018
Claire Hector

Island wildlife from past to present, from fossils to live moths and the most microscopic, was supersized into brilliant focus by the Discovery Bay team for National Biology Week 2018. The Bay-based science and nature team from Arc, Artecology, The Common Space and The National Poo Museum brought pop-up laboratories and a range of life science activities to Dinosaur Isle’s top floor. Dinosaur Isle’s experts were on hand too as part of their Earth Sciences Week celebrations.


Visitors were greeted with live aquariums and pond-dipping like no other; set in front of the vast views across Sandown’s lake, Lost Duver ponds and the Bay, powerful microscopes and widescreens revealed a busy and developing world of life in the water itself with rotating rotifers, freshwater prawns and water scorpions. Magnifying glasses helped transform (gruesome!) natural heritage displays and you could get an introduction to soil science which showed how allowing even the smallest amount of leaf litter in your garden can support a range of invertebrate life. Streams of visitors Island-wide made the trip to explore Discovery Bay, earning Bayologist badges for the day.

Sandown resident Lewis Lake commented, ‘Discovery Bay is great. People ask why we moved here. Part of it was for our children. Beaches, woodland, fields and nature. It’s events like this created to educate and generate interest in our area and nature overall that confirm we made the right choice.’

Ian Boyd, Director at Artecology, Arc and The Common Space explains, ‘National Biology Week is all about showcasing the amazing world of the biosciences and it was great to see so many people at Dinosaur Isle enjoying a hands-on encounter with the natural world this weekend! Discovery Bay teams up with the Royal Society of Biology every year to celebrate the Island’s extraordinary biodiversity and help people learn more about what’s out there and where to find it, from ammonites to zooplankton!’ The Biology Week celebration was the last event in a whole year of Discovery Bay activity, including Science Week, Dawn Chorus, Beach Bugs & Bones and the Science, Art and Ecology side of Hullabaloo.

The team hope to be back next year with a whole new Discovery Bay calendar to help celebrate the Island’s application to Biosphere status! Thanks to Hannah George for our poster design, Dinosaur Isle for the loan of their Education Room and to the Isle of Wight Natural History Society for the loan of their moth collections.

More pictures from the day in our gallery and on the Shaping The Bay Facebook page here

P.S. Donations to Bay not-for-profit The Common Space always welcome.