Headon Warren: Fears after another major landslip on the Isle of Wight (Updated)

Those with a strong local knowledge say it has the potential to be the largest amount of land to be lost.

Approximation of Headon Warren crack (SB amended) - 18 Feb 2014

(Update 11:20: Amended maps showing approximate line of crack, following Steve Blamire having re-visited the site this morning.)

A massive crack has developed on Headon Warren, north east of the Needles.

It was described to OnTheWight yesterday as a 6″ (15cm) wide crack running about half a kilometre (0.3 mile) long.

The drop at the crack has been variously described as between 6ft and 30ft.

Potentially largest landslip
Unsurprisingly people living in Freshwater and Totland are very concerned about the potential of it slipping further, with the total loss of the land being discussed. Those with a strong local knowledge described it as having the potential of becoming the largest amount of land to slip in recent times.

Headon Warren crack 17 Feb 2014 by Ashley Cooper

Last night Ashley Cooper, who was up on the Warren and took the photo above, described it as follows to OnTheWight:-

“It does indeed seem to run a good part of the way over the Warren, from Hatherwood Point Battery, up the ridge, and along the north side of the hill, fading out about 1/4 mile from Totland!!”

Approximate length of the crack
For those not familiar with the area, that area may be hard to visualise, so based on Ashley’s description, we’ve created an approximation of where the crack runs. As you can see from the map below, it’s major.

(Click to enlarge)
Approximation of Headon Warren crack (SB amended) Large (Line drawn using Scribblemaps) - 18 Feb 2014

Update 11:20: Amended maps showing approximate line of crack, following Steve Blamire having re-visited the site this morning.

Maps: Drawn in Scribblemaps
Photo: Ashley Cooper, as first seen on The Price is Wight

Tuesday, 18th February, 2014 9:55am

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Filed under: Freshwater, Isle of Wight News, Totland, West Wight

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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5 Comments on "Headon Warren: Fears after another major landslip on the Isle of Wight (Updated)"

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victor meldrew

If it did slip what effect would it have on Milford/Keyhaven? Would there be a “tsunami” effect?

Mason Watch

The answer is no…… The famous example of the Canary Islands relies on a substantial piece of land falling into deep water and displacing it to produce the waves. This slip would be more likely to ‘slump’ and at a much slower pace. The reality is that a cracking on the upper slopes doesn’t necessarily equate to the entire area moving.

Rowan

Let’s hope you’re right. Losing Headon Warren would be tragic. Of course one day it’ll go (and one day the whole Island will be gone) but the longer that’s delayed the better.

Island Monkey
I understand the sun will stop shining, in a billion or so years. Apparently the worst ever south coast storm was in the 1700’s, it caused major loss of life and destruction. No doubt that too was caused by global warming/climate change, not just the weather. The Isle of Wight has many weak spots, coastal erosion and rain will cause significant land slip, just as it always… Read more »
peaceful_life
@Island monkey. You could well be right, as the entirety of the fertile crescent had already been cleared of it’s carpet of giant cedar forests by that time, as had most of the temperate forests of western Europe, obviously this altered transpiration and precipitation levels along with land percolation and hydrological retention, which in turn…leads to desertification and extremities that influence the regulatory patterns of the *global… Read more »