At the extreme western end of the bay is an area of coastline that has for many years been used by the Military for training purposes. It started life as a camping ground and is used as a rifle and small arms firing range. Its large shingle mounds (butts) can be seen at the ends of each of the firing ranges and among the shingle you may also find remains of the old targets and the railway that served them.
The Browndown coastal area is designated as Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England. Details of the site Here:
You may walk from Stokes Bay to Lee on the Solent when red flags are not flying at the entrances
The ranges is an unusual shingle habitat, like nowhere else in southern Britain except perhaps Dungeness. A series of low parallel shingle ridges, created by storms, carries a patchy cover of silty peat with Ling and Gorse and occasional stunted Oaks. Pebbles and bare peat carry a rich assortment of ground-living Cladonia lichens. There is an unusual flora too, with Burnet Rose, Slender-flowered Thistle and a plentiful population of Nottingham Catchfly with its delicate drooping white flowers. The red threads of Lesser Dodder can also be found, parasitic on the Ling and producing tiny pink flowers in summer.