Under The Pier 2015
We celebrated this year's Under The Pier right bang in the middle of Ryde's epic Scooter Rally with its thousands of gleaming Vespas laid out across Western Gardens. But nothing, not drizzle nor scooter fumes obscured the view of Ryde Pier at low tide and the fascinating marine world beneath it!
Arc, Sovereign (then Spectrum) and friends plus around 150 Ryde residents, tourists, fishermen, Mods, ecologists and even a princess spent the afternoon exploring the multi-faceted world that has formed on and amongst the Pier's struts. Back at UTP HQ on the beachy bit, biodiversity recorder Tina Whitmore was on hand to help everyone record their finds while Nigel George from Artecology and Eccleston George showed us how to make sea-art forms by sand-casting. Up above us, the pier was decorated with sea-creature art and bunting created with artist Ian Whitmore with the help of Sovereign's Active Kids club and the children at Ryde Library.
It's truly awe-inspiring to discover just how many species have colonised the metal infrastructure of Ryde Pier - leathery sea squirts hang from cross bars, beadlet anemones form necklaces around the verticals, while their daisy anemone cousins dot the sand in between as if it were grass - magic!
Even the crabs you discover under the pier are somehow more fascinating than on your average day crabbing - spindle-legged Spider crabs of many sorts and the mythical Masked crab with its very long narwhal-like nose. And there right at the end of the Pier are the sponges... very of-the-moment vertical globule gardens!
Virtually everyone who joins us under the pier, from toddlers to grown-ups, is visibly elated as they make each new discovery ! And the best thing is, it's all there waiting to be rediscovered next time the sea rolls back. So why not take a look? Remember not to disturb anything too much and prepare to be amazed!
Under The Pier 2015 Star ascidians and sea anemones, brilliant barnacles and those Ryde Pier sunsets by Hannah George - Makings.