IWBOA: Eastern Central Ridge (2 subsites)
Opportunity area description
A ridge running between Newport in the west and Culver Cliffs in the east, breached by the Eastern Yar valley at Brading.
Joint Character Area/Landscape descriptive unitIW Joint Character Area: principally Chalk downs but some elements of Sandstone Hill Gravel ridges, and intensive agriculture.
Landscape typesRolling chalk downland with northern slopes well-wooded, giving way to pasture land. Lower sandstone hills giving way to arable fields to the south. Quarrying at the western end, and in the vicinity of Knighton.
Geology (bedrock)Chalk with areas of ferruginous sands to the south, and clay silt and sand to the north at the base of the slopes. At the western end it includes a sandstone outcrop.
Geology (superficial)Some small areas of Clay with flints on the chalk. Extensive areas of River terrace deposits on both chalk and ferruginous sand at the western end.
Topography (landform)Sheer chalk cliffs at Culver Down. The ridge runs west – east across the Island breached by the Eastern Yar running north-east /south-west
Biodiversity ( BAP habitat, Designated sites UK BAP Species)
SSSIs : Eaglehead & Bloodstone Copses, Arreton Down, Shide Quarry, Bembridge Down
SINCs: Wroxall Bottom Copse, St George’s Down, St George’s Scarp, Standen Copse, Arreton Down North, Mersley Down North, Mersley Chalk Pit, Knighton West Wood, Knighton Down, Knighton East Wood, Kern Down Chalkpit, Ashey Down, Brading Down West, Rowdown Copse, Nunwell Park, Brading Down, Bembridge Down
UK BAP SpeciesEarly gentian, Chalk eyebright, Red squirrel, Grizzled skipper; Dingy Skipper; Adder; Osmia xanthomelana; Glanville Fritillary
AccessBembridge Trail runs along the Downs between Bembridge and Newport
Targets – main opportunities