Landscape Character Assessment


Key Characteristics

 • Rocky indented coast with various small coves and beaches.

 • Steep sea cliffs with wave cut platform at Niarbyl Point

 • Gentle to steeply sloping medium sized arable and pastoral fields shelve down to sea, divided by  substantial sod hedges with gorse and some deciduous trees.

 • Open and extensive panoramic coastal views south from Niarbyl Point to Calf of Man.

 • Colour and movement of the sea contrasts with the coastal landforms, and combine to create a dramatic landscape.

Overall Character Description

Gentle to steeply sloping medium sized arable and pastoral fields, divided by substantial Manx hedgerows with gorse, descend to steep grassy slopes (with some areas of soil slippage) and these subsequently shelve down to jagged rocky cliffs by the sea. Various small coves and small sandy beaches are located at the foot of the cliffs, where small streams such as the Lagg and Kylley descend to the sea in waterfalls. Niarbyl Point marks the division between the Dalby and Manx geological groups where a large wave cut platform has been formed at this jutting, windy headland. This offers spectacular panoramic views south along the coastal cliffs towards Bradda Hill and the Calf of Man, north along the rocky coastline and west over the Irish Sea towards Ireland where the Mountains of Mourn are sometimes visible.

Small farm tracks enclosed by hedgerow trees run perpendicular to the A27 down the hillside towards the sea providing access for the scattered farms with corrugated iron roofed outhouses, isolated dwellings as well as the Visitor’s Centre at Niarbyl Point. The A27 forms the inland boundary, east of which rough grass, patches of gorse and sheep grazing predominate on the peripheral upland slopes.

Key Views

 • Glimpsed views through hedgerows over fields out to sea from the A27.

 • Open and extensive panoramic coastal views south from Niarbyl Point to Calf of Man.

Historic Features

 • Boraine earthworks

Ecological Features

 • Inter-tidal zone with numerous habitats.

 • Marine habitats.

 • Rough grassland habitat on cliff tops and sloping areas. • Marginal farmland and grassland habitats. • Patches of heathland habitats on lower upland slopes. • Fragmented hedgerow habitats.

Evaluation of Inherent Landscape Sensitivities

 • Rugged coastal cliffs and some small coves and beaches.

 • Ecologically diverse coastline with coastal heath, marine and inter-tidal habitats.

 • Sense of tranquillity.

 • Open and expansive panoramic views.

 • Rectilinear field pattern with Manx hedges on shelving land.

Landscape Strategy

The overall strategy should be to conserve the character, quality and distinctiveness of the tranquil coastal area with its rich ecological habitats, open and expansive panoramic views and the field pattern on the shelving land.

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