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Isle of Wight 'an all-weather destination' for walkers

Posted 20 December 2012
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Isle of Wight 'an all-weather destination' for walkers
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Those who like to go walking on the Isle of Wight should not be put off if the weather is a bit wet, a National Trust official has said.

Property manager at the Trust for the Isle of Wight Tony Tutton said: "The island is still a great place to visit even on windy and rainy days, as it takes on a more elemental nature.

"The Needles Old Battery is a good place to shelter and actually has a totally different atmosphere when the mist descends and the foghorn of the Needles Lighthouse booms out."

Visitors faced with such condtions may find waterproof clothing greatly increases their comfort levels, enabling them to put up with some rain and wind.

Mr Tutton went on to describe a range of good reasons to go walking on the island, noting the Trust's Newtown Nature Reserve offers plenty of "untamed atmosphere and wildlife".

One aspect of Britain's wildlife where human intervention has unwittingly had dire consequences is among the red squirrel population. Ever since the introduction of the greys from America, the reds have been eaten out of house and home and often killed by squirrelpox.

This has led to most of the red population being eliminated in Engalnd, with a few northern bastions and Scotland being the main strongholds remaining. But the islands off the south coast have offered refuge to the creatures and Mr Tutton noted reds can be seen in places like Borthwood Copse.

Walkers interested in rare species can also see the adonis blue and chalkhill blue butterflies on the chalky west side of the island in warmer months, alongside many vivid wildflowers, the expert noted.

Those planning to head to the island with their walking boots may be keen to see the public consultation into the possible extension of the English Coastal path to its seaboard come down in favour of the idea.

However, while organisations like the Ramblers support the idea, the Country Land and Business Association has expressed strong opposition to it, claiming the existing coastal access on the island is good enough.