Artecology Isle of Wight's first ever TV appearance.....Newsround!

The Artecology team were up in Edinburgh recently as part of a coastal habitat collaboration with a fantastic set of partners including Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, Glasgow Uni and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The team's trip involved installing artificial rockpools and bio-tiles, presenting on Artecology at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and probably best of all, a series of schools engagement sessions including the genius pupils from Forthview Primary School.  

BBC Newsround have just featured one of the school sessions in this magic film, interviewing the kids as they learnt how to create rock pools on the sea defences near Cramond. Here's their take on climate change, coastal adaptation and biodiversity. Great interview also with Glasgow Uni's Mairi MacArthur who works with us on the bio-tiles project.

#coastal #habitatcreation #biodiversity 

#EdinShoreline NERC: Natural Environment Research Council, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scottish Wildlife Trust University of Glasgow, Edinburgh Living LandscapeLandscapes CBBC @bbcnewsround #IsleofWight #innovation! #TheBay

SEE THE SHORT FILM HERE!

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Isle of Wight Biological Recorders Conference

Yesterday was the IW Biological Recorders' Conference at Arreton, hosted by the excellent IW Natural History Society http://iwnhas.org/. It's the annual gathering of naturalists, conservation organizations, ecology professionals and amazing volunteers, with great displays, fascinating talks and plentiful cake! It really is a fantastic and inspiring event - so many dedicated people sharing ideas, information and a boundless enthusiasm for wildlife. This year our friends and colleagues from Bournemouth University, Dr. Roger Herbert and Alice Hall, presented results from their research on 'Recording and enhancing marine life on artificial structures'. Alice talked about the Bouldnor and Boscombe Vertipools, and the Yaverland tyre pools, showing data on the ecological enhancement value of Artecology as a retrofit to existing marine infrastructure. It was a fascinating lecture and provoked much interest and comment from the audience, continuing right up to the close and carrying on into the car park afterwards! There is so much exciting work ahead, so much to learn and apply and so many possibilities to explore. Artecology is a great place to be just now!

 

Artecology on the agenda at the Isle of Wight Biological Recorders Conference 2017

Artecology on the agenda at the Isle of Wight Biological Recorders Conference 2017

Engaging Eels.

Eels are amazing! The European eel breeds at sea, but migrates into our rivers to grow before returning to the sea to spawn some 6 to 20 years later. The first three years of the European eel’s life are spent drifting in the ocean as a larva. It is thought that all European eels spawn in the Sargasso Sea, in the western Atlantic. At some point in their young lives the eels decide to head across the Atlantic Ocean for our rivers and streams and therein lies a problem! Man made weirs and culverts in our rivers and streams present a real barrier to the eels and sometimes they need a helping hand so they can make their way through the obstacles and onward to their destination up stream. 'Eel passes' are an established method that can help the eels by giving them a surface they can push through and grip on to in order to negotiate the weirs and culverts. Our 'Love Eels' retro fit tiles are about to be tested for the first time. The eye catching 3D 'Heart and Dart' ornamentation is designed to catch the attention of humans as well as allowing eels to get a grip when they need to most. Our new tiles will draw attention to these extraordinary animals and provide the possibility of an astonishing wildlife encounter that few people have ever seen for real.

A section of the Heart & Dart design by paper artist Hannah George, sculptor Nigel George and Ecologist Ian Boyd.

A section of the Heart & Dart design by paper artist Hannah George, sculptor Nigel George and Ecologist Ian Boyd.

The workbench at the Artecology studio during the Eel Pass tile prototyping.

The workbench at the Artecology studio during the Eel Pass tile prototyping.

Speaking of Change

Artecology Ltd's founders Ecologist Ian Boyd and Public Artists Nigel George where recently asked to speak to the Environment Agency at their Romsey HQ. Ian and Nige took along examples of current Artecology projects and talked through a slideshow showing the benefits of using Artecology principles as good practice for future civil engineering developments.

EA representative Claire Hamilton later remarked that - "I had such positive feedback from the group. They thoroughly enjoyed it and said it was the best lunchtime presentation they had attended for ages! It was refreshing to have a presentation where passion rather than money was the main driver. People also said Ian and Nige were great presenters and very inspirational!"

Nige and Ian now have a number of positive project leads to follow up as a result of their presentation and discussions that followed with EA personnel.  Watch this space!!

Testing testing 1 2 3

Properly understanding materials is incredibly important for us at Artecology. Developing sculpting and construction media that is both workable from an artistic point of view and strong from an engineering standpoint is a constant challenge. We're always testing and developing materials that can withstand the rigours of life in the public and natural realms. This week at our studio we've been testing high performance concrete mixes using recycled aggregates to make a workable medium that is both very strong and very sculptable.

Materials testing in action at the Artecology studio.

Materials testing in action at the Artecology studio.

Rock Paper Scissors

Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do, our work with the design and creation of BioArmour for sea defences is no exception and a great example of how this works. Work on the project began with Larissa Naylor, a geomorphologist from Glasgow University who introduced us to the concept of bio armour. As the project has unfolded we've extended the collaboration to include paper artist Hannah George. Hannah specialises in paper sculpture and has been helping us with some of the textured tile designs needed for the bio armour project.

Hannah George at her studio on the Isle of Wight.

Hannah George at her studio on the Isle of Wight.