|IPA Factsheet - Isle of Wight Downs|
Site Description Tennyson Down is part of the chalk ridge that forms the backbone of the Isle of Wight, this ridge extends to the west for 3 miles where it ends with the Needles. To the east the hill descends gently down to Freshwater Bay where the sea has cut through the ridge. To the south is Highdown Cliffs, a near vertical chalk cliff drop of over 100 metres to the sea below.The top of the Down is fairly flat and is predominately grass downland which provides a wide area for walking. There is some scrubland and small trees mainly on the northern side which is away from the prevailing wind.The Down is owned and managed by the National Trust and is grazed by sheep and cattle which ensures that its grass surface is closely cropped. It is open to the public.Tennyson Down is one of the most significant downland sites in Britain. It forms the western end of the Tennyson Heritage Coast. It is part of the Headon Warren And West High Down Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is part of the Isle of Wight’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Botanical Significance Noted for lichen assemblages
General Habitat Description Grassland and Tall Forb (major)