Natural History of the Gatcombe area and the Isle of Wight
'All this beauty is of God'
|Whatever your beliefs, the Island motto found underneath the County Coat of Arms reads 'All This Beauty Is Of God' - and visitors
to the Isle of Wight will encounter one of the loveliest and most picturesque islands in the British Isles.
At Little Gatcombe Farm you are right in the heart of an island which proudly boasts one of the most extensive networks of footpaths, bridleways and coastal walks you will find anywhere in Britain. A network you can enter as you step out of the peaceful surroundings of the farmhouse itself!
Just a short walk from the farm, you can join one of the loveliest walks which grace our island. The 'Tennyson Trail', which runs east to west from Newport, the county town of the Island to the western extremity at Alum Bay and culminating in stunning views overlooking the Needles and its lighthouse.
This page is intended to give you a little taster of the natural history which can be found on the Isle of Wight.
|Two of our rarest residents are the Glanville Fritillary butterfly (Left) and the Red Squirrel (Right). In Britain the Glanville Fritillary can only be seen on the Isle of Wight, mainly on the south coast, where it breeds each summer. The Red Squirrel, is native to many forests and woodlands of the Island. Grey Squirrels are 'banned' from the Isle of Wight!|
|Whether you are a keen ornitholgist or just a casual bird spotter, you will find some rare, and many, not so rare birds all over the Island. On the northwest of the Island lies Newtown Creek(Left),|
|a protected nature reserve. Newtown was once the ancient capital of the Island, but now it's famed for its wide diversity of waders and seabirds. In some parts of the south coast and the far west you can marvel at the grace and hunting skills of the Peregrine Falcon (Right). There are several resident nesting pairs currently here.|
|The flora and fauna of the Island is about as diverse as you can get anywhere in Britain. Wherever you go, you will see swathes of wild flowers. It's not surprising that the Isle of Wight is also known as the 'Garden Isle'. Because the climate is so mild on the far south of the Island (frosts and snow are hardly encountered in winter), many flowers and plants are grown which originate from warmer climates abroad. It is here that the famous Ventnor Botanical Gardens is situated on what was the Victorian Chest Hospital site running beneath the 'Undercliff' from Ventnor to St Lawrence. Some of the plants grown there are very rare, and throughout the year the Botanical Gardens is a feast of colour. Wherever you go in the countryside, you will see a wide diversity of flowers, shrubs, heathers, moss and lichen.|