The Palmers Brook arises as a series of springs east of Newport. The springs that feed the headwaters form two tributaries that meet at Blacklands Lane. The western tributary arises as a series of springs from within and around Staplers Copse and is associated with fine examples of alder woodland. The eastern tributary once arose from a significant gravel aquifer within a former ancient woodland known as Lynn Copse. The copse has now all but been destroyed, firstly by the excavation 0f gravel and more recently by the filling of the void with waste. The Lynnbottom Tip as it is now known, occupies this eastern fork of the valley headwaters
It flows for a distance of some 6.4 km to enter the Solent at Kings Quay. For much of its length the Palmers Brook flows through ancient semi‐natural woodland where it follows a heavily convoluted meandering path and creates some of the best streamside woodland on the Island. At its northern end, the stream has an almost totally natural transition from wooded stream through swamp and reed bed to saltmarsh and mudflats entering the Solent between two small shingle spits.
Downstream of Blacklands Lane the Brook flows north through more woodland to Whiterails Road and past Butterfly World. This section of the stream is mostly flanked by agricultural land before it enters Fattingpark Copse. The meandering course of the stream through this ancient woodland is of exceptional importance, supporting a rich diversity of ancient woodland plants. After flowing under the old railway line to the north of Fattingpark the Brook continues meandering north through the grounds of the Crematorium where is it joined by further spring fed tributaries arising from Wootton Common to the east. Again, this is essentially a wooded landscape with a rich ancient woodland flora.
The Brook crosses the A3054 at the foot of Lushington Hill and flows through a series of pasture fields until it enters more ancient woodland with Brocks Copse on its western bank and the replanted ancient woodland of Timber Copse on its eastern bank.
The Kings Quay Shore SSSI extends south to Brocks Copse Road. On its western bank is the planted ancient woodland of Woodhouse Copse A reed swamp becomes increasingly saline towards the coast and ultimately gives way to saltmarsh and open mudflat before the Brook flows into the sea through the twin shingle spits at mouth of the Palmers Brook estuary.
In 2014 we mapped all the issues we were aware of with regards to the rivers in Ryde. This map can be viewed here . Please let us know if you know of other issues.
More recently we’ve carried out a photographic survey of the brook which you can see below (the map also shows other watercourses we’ve surveyed)
For more about the ecology East Wight Watercourses Report December 2012
For information about the landscape and history Palmers Brook Final Report