Isle of Wight Council


Historic Landscapes on the Isle of Wight

Aerial photograph of Newtown

Isle of Wight Historic Environment Action Plan (HEAP)

The Island’s Historic Landscapes are all around us and contain the sites, settlements, fields, lanes and roads, houses and landscapes which survive from every period of our human past.

HEAPs (Historic Environment Action Plans) are being promoted by Historic England (formerly English Heritage) as a way of characterising the historic environment of local areas and of developing local management strategies, thus contributing to sustainable development.

The Isle of Wight Historic Environment Action Plan draws on the programme of Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) which consists of a digital map displaying HLC types which represent the historic dimensions of the present day landscape. Completed in 2008, the Isle of Wight HLC project was funded by English Heritage and the final reports can be downloaded below.

Drawing on the successful model of the Isle of Wight Biodiversity Action Plan, the Isle of Wight HEAP has used a partnership approach and has established a Steering Group to oversee the preparation of the plan.

The Isle of Wight HEAP identifies areas of importance for archaeology, the historic landscape and the historic built environment and sets out strategies for their local management.

A key aim of the Isle of Wight HEAP is to promote community understanding, conservation, and management of the historic environment.

The HEAP will feed into the Local Development Framework (The Island Plan). An agreed process of consultation with the Isle of Wight Council’s Planning Policy Team and with the public will ensure that the HEAP is robust and that it meets planning needs. The completed HEAP will be treated as background evidence in planning matters connected with the historic environment. In terms of general landscape management the HEAP will facilitate the assessment of Environmental Stewardship applications, woodland plans and proposals by the Council’s Countryside Section.

The HEAP consists of Area and Type reports which can be downloaded below or for paper copies please contact the County Archaeology and Historic Environment Service. Our details can be found in the 'Contact Information' tab. To email us use the 'Send a Message' tab.

The HLC, and HEAP Area and Type reports are available to download from the links listed below and have all been saved as a PDF file format:

Isle of Wight Historic Landscape Characterisation Final Report: Volume 1 (PDF, 1.05 MB, 133 pages)

Isle of Wight Historic Landscape Characterisation Final Report: Volume 2 (PDF, 4.34 MB, 80 pages)



Introduction to the HEAP (PDF, 2.15 MB, 16 pages)

Isle of Wight Overview HEAP  (PDF, 1.3 MB, 14 pages)

Map of HEAP Areas (PDF, 1.6 MB, page 1)


HEAP Area Reports

Arreton Valley HEAP (PDF, 209 Kb, 10 pages)

Atherfield Coastal Plain HEAP (PDF, 213 Kb, 9 pages)

Brading Haven and Bembridge Isle HEAP (PDF, 263 Kb, 14 pages)

East Wight Chalk Ridge HEAP (PDF, 218 Kb, 10 pages)

Freshwater Isle HEAP (PDF, 254 Kb, 14 pages)

Newchurch Environs and Sandown Bay HEAP (PDF, 239 Kb, 13 pages)

Northern Lowlands HEAP (PDF, 256 Kb, 15 pages)

South West Wight Coastal Zone HEAP (PDF, 253 Kb, 14 pages)

South Wight Downland Edge HEAP (PDF, 210 Kb, 9 pages)

South Wight Downland HEAP (PDF, 242 Kb, 13 pages)

South Wight Sandstone and Gravel HEAP (PDF, 227 Kb, 11 pages)

The Undercliff HEAP (PDF, 277 Kb, 17 pages)

Thorley Wellow Plain HEAP (PDF, 253 Kb, 13 pages)

West Wight Chalk Downland HEAP (PDF, 256 Kb, 15 pages)

West Wight Downland Edge and Sandstone Ridge HEAP (PDF, 242 Kb, 12 pages)


HEAP Type Reports

Climate Change HEAP (PDF, 353 Kb, 25 pages)

Designed Landscapes HEAP (PDF, 2.8 MB, 122 pages)

Military HEAP (PDF, 455 Kb, 38 pages)

Routeways HEAP (PDF, 371 Kb, 29 pages)

Rural Settlement HEAP  (PDF, 263 Kb, 16 pages)

Urban Settlement HEAP (PDF, 6.18 MB, 51 pages)

Glossary (PDF, 1.44 Kb, 12 pages)

References (PDF, 105 Kb, 6 pages)

The HEAP Project has been supported by the AONB Sustainable Development Fund and Leader.