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IPA Factsheet - Isle of Wight Downs
Site code
CountryUnited Kingdom
Administrative regionSouth East (Isle of Wight)
Central co-ordinates50o 40' N / 1o 28' W map
Altitude7 - 125

 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)

Land use

Land use% CoverLevel

Threatened Species

Species NameIPA Assess.Species Assess.AbundanceData qualityCriteria

Botanical Richness

EUNIS level 2 code & nameIPA Assess.Habitat Assess.% of indicator speciesNo. SpeciesNational BiotopeData qualityCriteria
B3 Rock cliffs, ledges & shores, including the supralittoral2012201200unknownB
E1 Dry Grasslands2016201600unknownB

Threatened Habitats

IPA Habitat code & nameIPA Assess.Habitat Assess.AreaData qualityCriteria


DesignationProtected Area NameRelationship with IPAOverlap with IPA
Site of Special Scientific InterestHeadon Warren & West High Downprotected area overlaps with IPA33
Site of Special Scientific InterestIsle of Wight Downsprotected area overlaps with IPA0
Special Area of ConservationIsle of Wight Downsprotected area overlaps with IPA30
Special Area of ConservationSouth Wight Maritimeprotected area is adjacent to IPA3
Area of Outstanding Natural BeautyIsle of Wightprotected area overlaps with IPA33
UnknownIsle of Wight Living Landscape- Wildlife Trustprotected area overlaps with IPA0
UnknownWestern Central Ridge- Biodiversity Opportunity Aprotected area overlaps with IPA0
Site of Special Scientific InterestHeadon Warren and West High Downprotected area overlaps with IPA33


TypeDescriptionYear startedYear finishes



 Conservation Issues

Contact Information

ContactContact Type