2023 Projects

Isle of Wight National Landscape partners with organisations and individuals to create and deliver projects that benefit nature, the environment, the Isle of Wight community and visitors.

Compton Bay by Independent Arts

Supporting Young Minds

Following an initial pilot, IW National Landscape partnered with Independent Arts and Hursts in this youth mental-health project.
Eight regular young people worked attended seven sessions in the designated landscape to explore nature and find ideas for their final mural in Newport – ‘bringing natural life’ into the county town.
Their work can be found in the Little London car park in Newport

Branstone & Biosphere in the Bay

Working with five partners in May and June 2023, fourteen events were sponsored by the IW NL and Arts Council attracting 460 participants. The events brought children and adults together to explore the natural world through walks and talks with local artists in four locations including Culver Cliff, Horse Ledge and Branstone. We would like to thank The Common Space, Equals IW, Boojum and Snark, Ventnor Exchange and Creative Ways Outdoors for their help.

Historic environment & Community

Events and activities celebrating community involvement in the Isle of Wight National Landscape:

  • Annual sponsorship of the Wolverton Garden Fair Conservation tent with Age UK.
  • Sponsorship of outdoor education activities with the Learning Zone (home educated) students. Eight session attracted 271 parents and students.
  • Sponsorship of a whole school visit by Brighstone School (83 children) to Brighstone Forest with Learning Wild.
  • Sponsorship of ‘It’s Your Museum’ with partners Creative Island. Five museums have been exploring closer links with their communities with three of these in the IW NL – Dimbola Lodge, Arreton Shipwreck Centre and IW Steam Railway – together with the Classic Boat Museum and Dinosaur Isle.
Crossing the Bar event by Creative Ways Outdoors

Access Projects

Crossing the Bar – XTB

A partnership with Creative Ways Outdoors and New Carnival Company to explore the Isle of Wight Heritage Coasts with walks and creative exploration. 53 events, sessions and workshops throughout the autumn were attended by 2,166 participants.

Welcome Walks

Between July and September walk leaders undertook 14 walks for the Isle of Wight National Landscape as part of our annual Welcome Walks. 138 people attended these walks during challenging weather conditions in some cases !!

Working with Farmers and Landowners

Farming in Protected Landscapes

This scheme is in its third year of a four-year programme. A Local Assessment Panel is drawn from the farming community on the Island and twenty-two grants were awarded totalling over £ 214,600 Projects this year included funds for hedgeplanting, hedge-laying, fencing, restoration of ponds, woods and grasslands and eyesore removal. Around 6,500 hedge plants / trees have been planted; over 3.5 km hedgerow restored and 22 ha of grassland restored.

Farmer Clusters

The Isle of Wight National Landscape is proud to be supporting four Farmer Clusters on the Island; in the eastern Yar catchment, the south Wight, the back of the Wight and local graziers involving 50 farmers and landowners. Regular meetings are supported by the IWNL with Southern Water with talks on a variety of issues emerging including environmental compliance, water use and conservation, soils and the emerging Sustainable Farming Incentive grants.

Catchment Sensitive Farming

This work ends after five years with 443 farmer engagements undertaken and 130 recommendations leading to farmers taking up environmentally-friendly schemes. Work has included practical help with soil analysis, soil conservation and water quality monitoring including workshops. This work is done in partnership with Environment Agency, Natural England and Southern Water.

Reddish Buff Moth by Ian Outlaw

Working for Nature Recovery

Reddish Buff Moth

In partnership with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Forestry Commission, Natural England and Butterfly Conservation, local experts and volunteers, the IWNL continues to sponsor management and survey work on one of UK’s rarest moths and one of two species to be found only in the IWNL in Britain.

The moth was found this year occupying its usual site in the north-west of the Island and regular meetings are held to co-ordinate on site practical work as well as monitoring.

Local Records Centre

The IWNL co-ordinates the Local Records Centre in partnership with the IWNHAS, providing 67 responses to enquiries from developers, planners, landowners and interested businesses including two Island-wide requests from Environment Agency and Forestry Commission. The Centre holds 837,852 records of 9,563 species.

Local Nature Recovery Strategy

The IWNL has been working with the local authority and Natural England on their emerging Local Nature Recovery Strategy. Workshops have been held with a wide range of experts, landowners and decision-makers to discuss the aims and priorities of the work towards the conservation of species and habitats on the Island – a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.


The IWNL supports the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society’s iWatchWildlife initiative which encourages volunteers and the general public to become more engaged with species recording and thus heighten awareness of the natural world.

This includes the sponsorship of the annual ‘IW Recorders Conference’ held in November with 70 local experts and wider audience attending a series of talks as well as taking the opportunity to network.

Swift conservation

IWNL has been working with the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society with their Swift Box Project. 62 swift boxes have been installed this year and a further 45 will be installed in spring 2024. Approximately 1/3 of the boxes had nests in summer 2023 indicating that these boxes will increase the breeding success of these rarer summer migrants.

Thorness Bay

The IWNL are working with local landowners, Arc Biodiversity and Climate Ltd and Environment Agency on the managed realignment project at Thorness Marshes to allow sea water flooding of wetland habitats previously protected by an old sea wall. Investigations into the changes in vegetation will lead to positive changes in management to allow managed retreat across the marshes with implications for carbon storage and adaptation to relative sea level rise.