A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Isle of Wight - A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

We all know the Isle of Wight is a great location to visit for many unique reasons, but did you know that UNESCO recognised the Island as a Biosphere Reserve status in 2019? A few minutes after your ferry departs, you will enter the biosphere – thanks to the strong environmental values and innovation, that has made the Isle of Wight one of seven biosphere reserves in the UK.

What is a Biosphere Reserve?

The definition for biosphere reserve is an area that has been recognised for the sustainable ways the local community work with their natural environment. The title is awarded to locations across the world.

This is awarded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), meaning that the Isle of Wight is now part of a worldwide network of biosphere zones.

The difference between a biosphere reserve and national parks or wildlife sanctuaries is that human activity on the area is less restricted.

The Island is also an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Combining these two accolades highlights the Island as a true champion of environmental significance.

Explore the Island's landscapes

Find out for yourself why the Isle of Wight is recognised as a biosphere reserve.

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Best places to visit on the Isle of Wight

Compton Beach, Isle of Wight

Compton Beach

Winner of the Marine Conservation Award, Compton beach on the Isle of Wight is a popular beach for locals, tourists and watersports enthusiasts alike. Known for its clean sands and picturesque views, this beach is a great choice for anyone spending time on the Island.

Explore Compton Beach

Newtown Creek

At the Island’s only National Nature Reserve, hay meadows are filled with flowers and butterflies, and rare red squirrels jump through the trees of the ancient woodland. It is a beautiful retreat that has something to offer for anyone looking for a peaceful getaway.

See Newtown National Reserve and Old Town Hall

Alum Bay

With the famous Needles Landmark in sight, Alum bay is a popular destination. The bay is also of geological interest thanks to its multi-coloured sand cliffs. The bay is also linked to the Needles Marine Conservation Zone and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

See Alum Bay
Ventnor Botanic Gardens

Ventnor Botanic Garden

Ventnor Botanic Garden is one of the great gardens of Britain. With over 30,000 rare and subtropical plants, it’s a must-see for any budding botanist. The exotic selection thrive in a mild climate similar to the Mediterranean.

Explore Ventnor Botanic Garden

Green Solent Project

Find out how Wightlink’s green initiatives are helping to protect the environment and live harmoniously with the biosphere.

Find out about the Green Solent Project

Other UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in the UK

The Isle of of Wight is one of seven locations recognised as biosphere reserves. Here is the list of areas with links for more biosphere information:

  • Isle of Wight
  • Wester Ross
  • Braunton Burrows-North Devon
  • Biosffer Dyfi
  • Galloway ans southern Ayrshire
  • Brighton and Lewes Downs
  • Isle of Man

Find out more information about UNESCO biosphere reserves.

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