Isle of Wight UNESCO Bisophere Status

Isle of Wight Achieves UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Status June 2019

In June 2019 The Isle of Wight, working in partnership with partner organisations achieved UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Status.  This means that now the Isle of Wight is recognised as one of the best places to explore people’s interaction with nature – anywhere in the world.

Rich Ecosystems

The Isle of Wight has rich ecosystems stretching back 65 million years, which can be found along the coast through fossils and dinosaur footprints.  The Island really is unique with rare species such as red squirrels in the woodlands and Glanville Fritillary butterflies on the cliffs as well as plants that don’t grow anywhere else in the British Isles.

The Island in itself has a surprising variety of landscapes including blustery downs, ancient woodlands and secretive salt marshes full of wildlife.  These are often close to the Island's well-known sandy beaches, beachside resorts, holiday parks and popular places of interest, such as The Needles Pleasure Park. 

The Biosphere reserve includes the whole of the Isle of Wight but is divided into 3 zones.

The Core Zone

This includes the most sensitive wildlife sites and is made up of designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Conservation Zones.

The Buffer Zone

This area surrounds the core zone and consists of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other conservation designations. 

The Transition Zone

The Transition Zone is where people live and work and use the Island’s natural resources in a sustainable manner.

The Isle of Wight is loved for its sandy beaches, vibrant community and breathtaking views and many a happy family holiday has been enjoyed because of this unique combination.  The new Biosphere Reserve status highlights another element to the island that often goes unrecognised.

For further information see:

UNESCO Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight AONB Unit, Branstone Farm, Branstone, Sandown, Isle of Wight PO36 0LT - tel:01983 823855

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