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Local Area

10The countryside surrounding Silver Glades is mainly woodland, farmland, creek and natural coastline. The area lies within the Hamstead Heritage Coast, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and also takes in the Newtown National Nature Reserve.

The coastal area is a region of salt marshes and mud flats, backed by low cliffs of clay.  Much of this is covered by the national nature reserve as it supports nationally important and threatened wildlife. 

The estuary is a particularly significant feeding and over-wintering ground for waders and other wild fowl.  Among others, Redshanks, Oyster Catchers and Ringed Plovers  visit regularly.

The local beach is a twenty-five minute walk from Silver Glades.  It is a natural, pebble, clay and sand beach which is best visited at low tide.

The cliffs which flank it are particularly fossil-rich and the exposed deposits of Oligocene fossils found embedded in the clay have been described as being the richest on earth.

11Inland, the countryside is a mixture of farmland and woodland, supporting a diverse  range of crops, livestock and woodland.  The farmland is laid out on a traditional  footprint which maintains the hedgerows and trees between fields.  The woodland is a  mixture of natural, deciduous areas and worked pine forests. 

The low-level of human habitation, combined with the diversity and richness of habitat,  makes the area very attractive to wildlife.  It is possible for the lay person to see a diverse  range of birds and mammals whilst out walking, including the red squirrel.  Even if they  are not seen, the bird song at any time of year makes casual walking a joy.

There is an extensive network of public footpaths for those wishing to explore locally.  For those wanting to connect with the  Island-wide footpath system, the Hamstead Trail passes by the site and the Coastal Path is very close.

The closest public house is The Horse and Groom on the main Yarmouth-Newport road, which can be reached by a direct  footpath across the fields.  Alternatively, it is just a short drive along the lane.

There is a local shop with limited opening hours in Shalfleet, which is one and a half miles from Silver Glades.  Yarmouth has a  small convenience store, newagent, chemist, delicatessen and bakers. Main shopping locations for West Wight are Freshwater or Newport.

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