Thanks to the team whom have been brilliant at making the costumes, we are almost done.
This Wednesday a small team are meeting at 6pm at Coppins Bridge Car Park to travel over to Bonchurch to transform the Dragon to a Lizard.
Thanks to Shirley who has been helping to prepare the mobile woodland and been helping over the weekend build and paint the feature.
Thanks to Sam of MCEnhancement who has the new PA system up and running and has helped put together a wonderful range of music featuring many styles of music associated with Mardi Gras.
According to the long range forecast the weather is looking good for Saturday,
The details of times to meet and places to park for Saturday will be published here on Tuesday June 25th 2019.
We have two places for anybody who wants to join in at the last minute. We need a Group Safety Marshal and spare hands to carry the banners.
Team members whom are performing as part of the main group need to be at Ryde Private School for 1.30pm.
Those who have equipment and materials will be informed of their arrival times on Wednesday evening* when we transform the Dragon to a Lizard.
Please all meet up at the Equals IW base camp (number 23) in the main field.
There will be no parking at the school for those performing team members who are not bringing equipment.
There is paid parking at either LA Bowing Car Park or at Ryde Canoe Lake. From there it is a walk up to to the school but note that your car will be near where the procession ends. Please be aware of parking charges. Alternatively park in either East Hill Road or West Hill Road where there are no parking charges and walk through Ryde to the School.
Team members are invited to the Captain's Table Café next to Ryde Swimming Pool after the Mardi Gras for a free drink as a massive thank you from the trustees. Everyone's help made it possible for us to take part in the Mardi Gras 2019 .
Maybe we can dance along to the café and relax in friendship.
The weather on Saturday looks wonderful so remember sunscreen and water bottles.
* Wednesday June 26th 2019 is when a small team are meeting at 6pm at Coppins Bridge Car Park to travel over to Bonchurch to transform the Dragon to a Lizard.
The Trustees of Equals IW are delighted with the amazing contributions by the 2019 Mardi Gras Team.
They would like to encourage the team members to enter the Mardi Gras theme in the 2019 island Illuminated Carnivals.
The aim is to further promote Equals IW and support other community events whilst developing friendships of group members and encouraging others to join Equals IW.
The dates for the IW illuminated carnivals are
If you are interested please download this short form and
All lead designers and any other team members who want to help at this stage are to meet at
The session is to present the costume and hand held feature for final approval.
We will also agree the required adjustments to the Komodo Dragon.
Materials already purchased need to be taken as the team will start to make elements of the costume and hand held feature.
Bouldnor Forest is the focus of the Equals IW involvement with the 2019 Isle of Wight Mardi Gras event. Our Mardi Gras entry within the 'Woodlands' section of the parade has to reflect the biosphere of the reserve especially in the costumes.
Bouldnor Forest nature reserve is full to the brim with exciting wildlife. Red Squirrels leap from branch to branch and unusual birds such as Tree Creepers and Bullfinches flit between the trees. Why not download a wildlife spotter sheet before you go and see how many species you can identify?
Unusual birds such as Crossbills and Goldcrests are abundant, and during the spring a host of heathland rarities brighten the restored clay heaths, you will see Pale Dog-Violet, Heath Dog-Violet and Cyperus sedge blooming along the coastal path. Down on the beach you can uncover the Isle of Wight’s prehistoric past. Look closely and you may find small fossils among the pebbles. Once you’ve finished your archaeological activities, you can look out across the Solent and take in the stunning views of the New Forest coast.
Discover exciting wildlife in this fascinating reserve with a prehistoric past. The Pine Forest, Heathland, Cliffs and Sea Grass beds provide homes for plentiful wildlife. Buildings remain from the site’s former use as a naval training base, are evident among the trees and are now used as an Education Centre. Wander along the forest tracks between the Pine trees to look and listen for unusual birds such as Crossbill, Goldcrest and Raven. You may glimpse the iconic Red Squirrel leaping from branch to branch. With no introduced grey squirrels on the Island, their smaller cousin thrives here.
In spring along the coast path, discover Heathland rarities that brighten the restored Clay Heaths, such as Pale Dog-Violet, Heath Dog-Violet and Cyperus Sedge. By summer, Bell Heather is in its full glory. Look out for the strange parasitic Dodder, it has no leaves, only pink thread-like stems and dense heads of white and pink flowers.
The reserve is 38 hectares in size. The surfaced Forestry tracks are usually dry. Unsurfaced public footpaths can be muddy when wet. The coastal path is on a gentle slope. There is one wide gate to enter the reserve and one within the reserve.
Bouldnor Forest is one of our most important Flagship Pond sites. It is the only known site on the Isle of Wight for the delicate aquatic fern Pillwort Pilularia Globulifera. This small endangered fern loves the muddy edges of grazed ponds which dry down over the summer and fill in the winter. Unfortunately, pillwort has not been recorded on the site for some years and re-establishing and preserving what could potentially be the last stronghold for this plant on the island is of high importance.
The ponds at Bouldnor are also known to host other species of interest including protected Great Crested Newts Triturus Cristatus, Common Toads Bufo Bufo, numbers of which are thought to be declining across the UK, and several freshwater green algae known as Stoneworts.
International Nurses Day was this year celebrated around the world on Sunday 12th May. The Royal College of Nursing invited healthcare professionals to organise their own get-togethers with colleagues.
The Equals IW Friendship Group joined an event at the St Mary's Hospital to celebrate Happy Nurse Day on the Friday before. Niviera attended the event and met the Director of Nursing, Midwifery, AHP's and Community Services, St Mary's catering manager and many other wonderful Nurses and staff.
Tuti and Arum volunteered to make bala bala, spring rolls and pukis cake for the occasion. Obviously these delicious Indonesian snacks were gone in no time. Thanks to Arum and Tuti.
The Equals IW Mardi Gras team is currently numbers 20 this year with female, male and children taking part. If you want to join the team please
All team members are now required to purchase the following and wear it on the day.
Each team member in the parade will be holding something in their hand to wave in the air to attract the eyes of the crowd. We will be re-using the Komodo Dragon from last year as he has survived the rain but needs some tender care.
We are now looking for Lead Designers to work with Sandra
One design from the last meeting has a style and colours representing woodlands, ponds and wildlife to match our Bouldnor Forest theme. The lead costume team designers may include a backpack in the costume.
This year the Mardi Gras theme is Biosphere Island! Each organisation entering has been teamed up with another Island organisation to learn about our Biosphere Island. Equals IW will be joining with the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. The section of the parade Equals IW will be part off is to be called "Forestry and Woodland" and the entry will reflect Bouldnor Forest.
Equals IW is recruiting now for the Mardi Gras Equals IW entry and as a start the Equals IW team met at Bouldnor Forest on the 2nd and 9th April 2019.
Bouldnor Forest is an Idyllic nature reserve on the IW Heritage Coast, Hamstead. It is one of the Island’s most important pond sites and the tam learnt about its variety of habitats
all supporting the diverse wildlife.
Next event to be announced
Equals IW needs team members to help shape the entry theme and/or to be part of the parade team. Team members can be of any age. To be part of the Team please email either
More information about the Mardi Gras event to take place on 29 June 2019 is available online from the The New Carnival Company
The Annual General Meeting and Committee Meeting will take place on
If anybody would like to make and bring refreshments to eat please do let Mark know what you are bringing so he can organise some plates and so on.
If you would like a new exciting challenge for 2019 then come and join the Equals IW Committee.
We are looking for people to volunteer and develop the work of Equals IW:
You can download and display our flyer.