Isle of Wight Geology by Trudie Wilson

The Isle of Wight National Landscape has a very diverse geology within a condensed area. The geology of the Isle of Wight National Landscape is the bedrock upon which all its other special qualities and characteristics are founded. The landform of the Isle of Wight NL is due mainly to the faulting, folding, erosion and ground movement of the underlying geology.

The topography of the landscape has influenced where people have decided to settle to access fresh water, take advantage of shelter from prevailing weather and where sites were chosen for ceremonial purposes, such as burial mounds on ridge lines. The geology has provided hard building materials for local vernacular architecture including chalk, limestone and sandstone and the conditions for growing timber and reed/straw materials for thatching. All these contribute to the local distinctiveness and character of traditional buildings.

Whale Chine by Trudie Wilson

This geological complexity, in a relatively small area, has created a diverse and varied landscape much of which is important at a local, regional, national and international scale, evidenced by various designations.

Chalk is arguably the most dominant landform of the Isle of Wight NL, with the central chalk ridge running from the eastern point at Culver to the western point at The Needles. A second area of chalk downland is located in the south above the towns of Shanklin and Ventnor and the villages of Niton, Whitwell and Wroxall. Inland areas of the chalk have an undulating form and often include secluded steep-sided combes contrasting with dramatic white chalk cliffs at the coast. Chalk downland is a key feature in most views in and from the Isle of Wight NL.

Yaverland by Trudie Wilson