Plant stood about a foot tall. It is growing on top of the woodd hillside above Babbacombe beach
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... Echium pinoniana looks like?
Yes this is most certainly a young E. pininana.This species is very common on the Undercliff of the IOW. They grow up to 4m tall and are quite spectacular in flower. They normally take a couple of years to build up to flowering size and sadly the past few winters, even on the Undercliff they have been badly damaged by frost.They are listed in the IOW Flora as as garden escape.If they are happy they can seed prolifically,personally I love them but some gardeners here ruthlessly weed them out!!! Take a look at this old observationof mine for a bit more info:
David J Trevan
Lat/Lng: 50.4708, -3.5069
OS grid ref: SX931645