Staff at Blackwater Mill Residential Home – set in stunning grounds next to a huge mill pond fed by the River Medina – have been working on some exciting new conservation projects.

In consultation with the Environmental Agency, they’ve been improving the river and lake for the resident fauna and flora, with the wider aim of preserving the wildlife around the river.

Manager, Penny Tyau is currently working on introducing eel passes and fish steps on the river so protected eels and fish can continue their journey upstream in order to spawn.

In addition to the river project, staff have also created a wildflower garden in their extensive grounds to encourage bees and butterflies to frequent the area. Residents and staff have also created insect hotels and natural boundaries for the wildlife and plants. Furthermore, 15 ex-battery hens have chosen Blackwater Mill grounds for their retirement and will be free to roam the wildflower garden.

Inspiring the process is Bill Shepard, who is staying at the home. Bill, a Freeman of Newport and a long-standing member of the historical society, has written countless books on the fauna and flora of the Isle of Wight and he is expertly guiding the projects.

The home’s kitchen is also coming on board with the conservation project, starting with composting all its food scraps. One of the projects scheduled for next year will be a large, tiered herb garden.

Penny says: “Plans are slowly taking shape, and it’s all very exciting. Even since last year we are seeing an increase in wildlife and different species of flora.

“Over the next year,  as well as our new chickens, we will slowly be introducing peacocks and goats to the grounds to enhance the natural beauty and conservation of our grounds. And because our residents will love them of course!”

For more information on Blackwater Mill Residential Home visit
or contact / 01983 520539.