This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.
A quiet backwater with a busy Medieval past, now bursting with wildlife
This is the only National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Wight. It is a beautiful retreat that has something to offer boat owners, walkers, wildlife enthusiasts and historians or just those in search of peace and tranquility. You can wander past flower-rich hay meadows, through ancient woodlands with rare butterflies and red squirrels, and look out over salt marsh and the clear waters of the harbour, bobbing with sailing boats in the summer and alive with birds in the spring and winter. For those on the water it is a beautiful place to explore and a good way to look out for wetland wildlife.
Newtown Harbour was saved in the 1960s from the threat of a nuclear power station being built near the harbour entrance. The efforts of local people conducting wildlife surveys proved to the authorities how special the place is. The landscape has remained little changed for decades and the pattern of fields reflects Newtown's Medieval origins.