Environment & Neighbourhood Committee

Parish Council Members: Cllr R Poncia (Chair),Cllr M Sullivan, Cllr H Brabazon, Cllr M Groom, Cllr Chapman, Cllr L Mitchell, Cllr J Lake, Cllr A de Trey

ToR Environment & Neighbourhood Committee 2021

The Big Dig

To Celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 we wanted to be part of The Queen’s Green Canopy, which is a tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. Everyone across the UK is being invited to plant trees from October 2021, when the tree planting season begins, through to the end of the Jubilee year in 2022. 

The Queen’s Green Canopy will create a network of individual trees, avenues, copses and whole woodlands in honour of The Queen’s service and the legacy she has built.  This will create a green legacy of its own, with every tree planted bringing benefits for people, wildlife and climate, now and for the future.

The Woodland Trust want to make sure everybody in the UK has the chance to plant a tree, so they are giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and communities.  Bembridge Parish Council have secured 345 native trees and hedges which will arrived for the Dig for Bembridge event on 8th December.   

Thank you to the local residents, Windmills Preschool, Men in Sheds, IW Cllr Joe Robertson, PC Councillors and the Parish Lengthsmen for planting 260 trees and hedges in Steyne Park!   

The Scouts will plant 50 trees and the Church Mice 35 trees.





Christmas STAR Competition 2021

Star 2021 Winners

Dragons Den 2021

Fabulous night at the Bembridge Youth & Community Centre on 15th October, judged by Dragons Cllr Harriet Brabazon, Mr Keith Cook and Cllr Paul Kenny.  Bembridge has many truly inspirational Groups for all ages.

Windmills Pre-School were awarded £550 towards a new purpose built sandpit in their playground. Unfortunately, no one was available to make a presentation to the Dragons but everyone present thought it was a very good project and worth awarding the funds too. 

Bembridge Primary School were awarded £700 to purchase 30 Glockenspiels to encourage all children to participate in a variety of musical activities.  The Dragons and audience were entertained by the Primary School children playing 3 songs on their ukulele’s.   The Dragons are looking forward to hearing the results at a concert.

Bembridge Scouts were awarded £320 for a patio heater and money towards a second.  The heaters will help for outdoor activities such as camps and night hikes.  The Scouts are also looking forward to start fundraising again after the Covid lockdown.

Bembridge Heritage were awarded £270 to provide internet access at the new premises in Weavers Yard.  With internet access more help will be available for locals and visitors such us genealogy and local history.

Men in Sheds were awarded £226 for a new belt sander for the shed.  The group have helped with many projects in the Village since starting up, including building planters, planting trees, laying floors, building safety screens, building wooden plinths to name a few!!

Well done to all those who pitched against the Dragons and won!

Empress Queen Anchor

This anchor is from the wreck of the SS Empress Queen which was built in 1897 as an Isle of Man paddle steamer.  When the vessel came into service it was one of the fastest and most powerful paddle steamers on the seas.

The Empress Queen was chartered by the Admiralty on the 6th February 1915, the ship was fitted out as a troop carrier within two weeks after which it travelled to Southampton to begin transporting troops to Le Havre. The ship enjoyed almost a year of highly reliable service until on 3 February 1916, while returning to Southampton from carrying 1300 troops to Le Havre, she ran ashore in a heavy gale on the Ring Rocks, off Foreland Ledge. The Ledge is visible from this point at low tide.

She was stuck fast in full view of the Coastguard Station and the lifeboat Queen Victoria 2 was quickly summoned by distress rockets and launched with difficulty in the poor weather conditions. Coxswain John Holbrook was in command but not with his usual full crew as they had been called up for wartime duties. Older fishermen, coastguards and other volunteers were called on and went to the rescue.


Getting close to the Empress Queen was extremely difficult due to the weather and the rocks. The skill of John Holbrook brought the lifeboat alongside, but he severely injured his hand. Despite this he made four trips to the ship, each time filling the lifeboat to safe capacity. By now the lifeboat was damaged and waterlogged, but on the last trip the remainder of the crew including the ship’s dog and cat were brought safely ashore.  Altogether 110 men were saved with Coxswain John Holbrook receiving the RNLI Silver Medal for a very gallant rescue. The wreck broke up and her remains can still be seen at low water.

Local fishermen, brothers Walter and Frederick Attrill, also helped with the rescue, taking 30 men to shore. They received letters of thanks from the owners.

Villagers turned out to help, as Ivy Clarke recalled.

 ‘The lifeboat crew brought men ashore until they were exhausted. The tide had gone out and after dark it was difficult for the lifeboat to see her way due to the blackout and weather conditions. Some local women, including my two sisters, stood candles in lanterns each side of the gully between the third ledge and the rocks, so that the coxswain could bring the lifeboat in and anchor her. My sisters, Maisie (14 years) and Gertie (19 years) Clarke from Woodclose, had been standing up to their waists in freezing water. Meanwhile, the other women were lighting the fire in the little committee room at the lifeboat-house, using their own coal. They filled jugs and cans with hot cocoa and tea, whatever could be spared from the rations. On this rescue the Coxswain was awarded a special RNLI commendation, but would not accept it unless my two sisters were recognised for their part in the rescue. They were later awarded certificates for what they had done.’

 The Empress Queen’s anchor was located and brought ashore by Martin Woodward MBE, former Bembridge Lifeboat Coxswain and professional diver and is now situated at the Coastguard Green, Beachfield Road, Bembridge.



Bembridge Christmas Star Competition 2020


Star 2020 Winners

Some of this year’s Stars

Dragons Den 2020

Dragons Den Winners

This year’s Dragon’s Den could not have an Event, but the Dragons met up remotely to argue over the applications!!

Windmills Pre-School were awarded £510 towards new play equipment in their garden. 

Friends of Holy Trinity Church were awarded £380 towards building upgrades on The Cloisters

Bembridge Heritage Society were awarded £230 for a new cordless vacuum to keep their new home tidy.

Bembridge Scouts were awarded £430 for shelving which helps with the improvements that are ongoing at the Hut during lockdown.

Bembridge Community Gardeners were awarded £450 towards plants that will benefit the Village for residents and visitors.  

Well done to all those who pitched against the Dragons and won!

K1 Restoration Project

Press release – Grade II Listed K1 Telephone Box Restoration

Bembridge in Bloom 2019

Bembridge in Bloom 2019 – Winners

Wave Sculpture Unveiling 18th March 2019

Bembridge Village Partnership was successful in being awarded nearly £4,000 towards the Bembridge Wave Sculpture at Fishermans Walk, from Down to the Coast, which celebrates coastal arts.  The Sculptor Kenneth Prust positioned the Wave in such a way that the lifeboat station can be viewed through the wave.   Interestingly the material used for the sculpture began its life as part of the water main beneath the ground of Bembridge and was secured from Southern water by the artist.

A Time Capsule was buried underneath, which includes contents from Bembridge Heritage Centre, Bembridge Parish Council, a copy of the Parish News and a photo catalogue ‘A moment in time’.  

As part of the project, a competition took place for local artists to paint a mural on unattractive walls facing out to sea, beside the Lifeboat station, that encapsulates the wave theme to celebrate coastal arts.  John Keyworth, Operations Manager and Guy Willing, Coxswain Bembridge RNLI judged the entries and it was a difficult decision from some very inspirational entries.   Verena Sparrow, a local Bembridge artist, won the competition and throughout the summer has brought the design to life.

Bembridge Primary School children were taught about the art of sculpture with sessions making their own sculpture creations with Kenneth. 

The Coastal Gardener has planted up the area with appropriate plants

Many thanks go to Ken Prust, Bembridge Primary School, Verena Sparrow, Bembridge Green Towns, Men in Sheds, Bembridge RNLI, Parish Lengthsmen, Greg from Weavers, the Coastal Gardener, Brewers and East Wight Landscape Partnership Down to the Coast.  

Wave Sculpture Update

We are delighted that the Wave Sculpture, made by local sculptor Ken Prust, is now sitting proudly at Lane End, thanks to the hard work of the Village Partnership and the Parish Council. This project has been made possible thanks to funding from  Heritage Lottery Fund and the Isle of Wight Council ‘Down to the Coast’ Project. We still have a few finishing touches to complete,  including an interpretation and information to put, but a grand unveiling and dedication event is in the pipeline. 

Wave Sculpture


Bembridge Village Partnership has been successful in being awarded nearly £4,000 towards the Bembridge Wave Sculpture project from Down to Coast.

As part of the project a competition took place for local artists to paint a mural on currently unattractive walls facing out to sea, beside the Lifeboat station, that encapsulates the wave theme to celebrate coastal arts.  

John Keyworth Operations Manager and Guy Willing Coxswain Bembridge RNLI judged the entries and it was a difficult decision from some very inspirational entries.

Verena Sparrow, a local Bembridge artist, won the competition and throughout the summer has brought the design to life. During the challenge many passers-by were interested in the mural taking shape with local children contributing by painting the eyes of the fish and some of the shells; a memory we hope they remember. The competition will take place bi-annually so if you missed it this year be sure to enter next time.

Many thanks to Cllr Sheila Weedall for co-ordinating the project and Brewers for providing the paint at trade price.   

The next phase of the project is the installation of the wave sculpture that will be installed at Fisherman’s Walk to celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of the local landscape.

A time capsule, buried by Bembridge Primary School, will include contents from Bembridge Heritage Centre and Bembridge Parish Council with a photo catalogue ‘A moment in time’. The Sculptor, Kenneth Prust has taught a class of Bembridge school children all about the art of sculpture with sessions on the beach to make their own creations.

Introduction of a new interpretive sign board. Associated planting from the Coastal Gardener with the assistance of the local Beavers.

Grand unveiling of the sculpture and burying of the time capsule to be arranged in the autumn.