• How much did an Iguanadon weigh?
  • Have you found a fossil, or just another pebble?
  • What did dinosaurs have for dinner?
  • What happened to the Island’s dinosaurs?

These and more questions are answered in a brand new, 38-page Dinosaur Safari Guide, published by Visit Isle of Wight.

Brimming with humour, the Isle of Wight Official Safari Guide is a fun, engaging workbook with ideas, activities and games designed to educate and inspire further learning.  Cartoon character, “Diana Saw” is the book’s roving reporter offering dinosaur-mad kids sensational scoops with her ‘access all areas’ pass to the Isle of Wight.

Written by dinosaur expert Steve Love, the guide includes information on where to see real footprints and maps for walking dinosaur territory, as well as lots of photographs of what to look for and reconstructions by the world-renowned dinosaur book illustrator, John Sibbick.

The Isle of Wight has recently been named by the Daily Telegraph as one of the five “best places in Britain for young fans to come nose-to-nose with dinosaurs – or hunt for fossils”.

The travel feature, called “Jurassic World: The UK’s best dinosaur attractions”, says that “Dinosaur remains are so ubiquitous on the Isle of Wight that there’s even an app.  Download it to follow in the footsteps of giants, or head to Compton Bay or Yaverland beaches to search for fossils.”

Named the Dinosaur Capital of Britain in 2013, the Isle of Wight is the UK’s fossil finding capital and one of the most important places in the world for finding fossils, including the magnificent Isle of Wight Iguanodon that graces the London Natural History Museum’s famous dinosaur Gallery, and a number of fine and unique dinosaurs in Dinosaur Isle in Sandown.

Visit Isle of Wight feel the new Official Dinosaur Safari Guide is the perfect tool to inspire and educate youngsters – and encourage them to go on “safari” in search of dinosaur sites and attractions on the Island.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “Around the world, dinosaur fossils are actually pretty rare, and even where they are found they are often from just one species, or are just a few fragments.  But here on the Isle of Wight over 20 species of dinosaur have been found so far, some in near-complete condition.  The title Isle of Wight Dinosaur Safari is meant to send a clear message that the Island is one of the most important places in the world for finding dinosaurs”.

Steve Love added: “The idea for this book came when I went to see Isle of Wight tourism chief David Thornton, to ask him why the Island doesn’t do more to raise awareness of its massive worldwide status as a world heritage dinosaur site.  I expected some push-back, so I even took some lumps of dinosaur bone from a local beach to plonk on his desk.  Instead, I found he was asking exactly the same question.  The upshot is that he set me the challenge of writing a book which simultaneously nails the Isle of Wight’s scientific dinosaur credentials, is attractive to visitors, and is accessible to all ages.

“Although I am the author, the book is a team effort by many of the Island’s dinosaur and fossil experts, all of whom, including me, have contributed their time and material for free in the interests of supporting the Island’s visitor economy”.

The Isle of Wight Official Dinosaur Safari Guide is a new must-have for kids who love dinosaurs.    Officially launched at a book-signing event at Waterstones in Newport on 20th August, the book costs just £5 and contains cut-out vouchers worth over £17, which can be used in seven Island shops, cafes and attractions.

Copies can be purchased from the Guildhall visitor centre in Newport, Island tourist information points, dinosaur-related attractions and all good retailers, including Waterstones on the Isle of Wight.   Or, order one online from

For further information, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer, Tel: 01983 521555, Ext 29/07766 705672, E-mail:

Steve Love, the author of the Isle of Wight Official Dinosaur Safari Guide is available on 01983 629497, 07955 736345 and


Notes to editors

 Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website ( the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities:


The Isle of Wight is to feature in a prime time TV programme focusing on Britain during prehistoric times.

‘Dinosaur Britain’ is a two part programme to be broadcast on ITV on Monday 31 August between 9pm and 10pm and on Tuesday 1 September from 8pm until 9pm.

The Isle of Wight will be part of the second programme on the Tuesday.

Film crews visited Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown where the focus of their attention were the skeletons of a Neovenator and a Mantellisaurus.

Both skeletons show signs of injuries, suggesting both dinosaurs were involved in vicious fights.

Presenter Ellie Harrison was shown various bones in the museum’s laboratory and looked at what the injuries may have been as a result of.

The programme will be using CGI graphics to show dinosaurs during pre-historic times.

Alex Peaker from the museum was involved in the filming. He said: “The programme makers came here in June and carried out lots of filming and interviews.

“We were more than happy to assist. The stories behind the skeletons of the Neovanator and the Mantellisaurs will make for fascinating viewing.”

Councillor Ian Stephens, Executive member for tourism, culture and heritage, added: “The Isle of Wight is well known as being the dinosaur-fossil capital of Britain and the programme will further enhance our reputation as one of the world’s best sites for pre-historic discoveries.

“I look forward to watching it and seeing what the experts have established from studying fossils in the museum.”

Chief executive of Visit Isle of Wight, David Thornton, says the programme will benefit the Island’s image, adding: “This new dinosaur documentary further enhances our reputation as the dinosaur capital of Britain which started in 2013 when the Natural History Museum in London awarded us that title.

“It continues with our special Dinosaur Isle app which allows visitors to be photographed while walking with dinosaurs on the Island.”

ITV describe Dinosaur Britain as telling the amazing story of many of the dinosaurs that once roamed our country revealing how they hunted, what they ate and how they died from the evidence revealed from their bones.


Notes to Editors:

The programme was produced by Maverick Television

Issued by:

Simon Butler, Media Relations Officer
Tel: 01983 821000 ext 6254
Mob: 07976 347636

Get social media updates from the Isle of Wight Council. Go to, and



A group of international scientists is to be hosted at Dinosaur Isle next week (Tuesday 25 August) as part of the ‘Flugsaurier’ conference, dedicated to the research of the giant prehistoric flying reptiles, the pterosaurs.

The conference is being held by the University of Portsmouth (led by former Island resident Dr Dave Martill), having previously being held in the USA, Brazil, China and mainland Europe.

This is the first time that the international conference has been hosted in England, and for its first day the event is convening on the Island.

Delegates from around the world will be joining staff from Dinosaur Isle to see the classic locality of some of the Island’s famous pterosaurs, such as the Caulkicephalus.

Caulkicephalus was discovered at Yaverland and formally named as a new species by Dr Martill and former museum staff member Dr Lorna Steel in 2005. The original remains of the specimen can now be seen on display at Dinosaur Isle.

During the afternoon of the event, hosted by the Friends of Dinosaur Isle, the international team will be studying the important collection of pterosaurs held at the museum.

Dr Jeremy Lockwood, chair of the Friends of Dinosaur Isle, said: “The Flugsaurier conference attracts some of the world’s foremost experts on pterosaurs and it is tremendous to know that such high profile scientists value our museum and are aware of the importance of the collection.”

Councillor Ian Stephens, Isle of Wight Council Executive member for tourism, culture and heritage, said: “This visit and Dinosaur Isle’s inclusion in the conference is a real coup for the museum and the Island, and recognition at the highest level of the importance of the Island in this field.

“It also further underlines our determination on the Island to attract more top events and visitors to our shores, including experts in their field, to appreciate the many qualities, places of interest and attractions we have.

“I would like to congratulate staff at the museum and the Friends of Dinosaur Isle for their continuing excellent work and am delighted with the recognition they have received with this conference.”


For more information, e-mail:





Green-fingered Islanders came together at a ‘red carpet’ style awards ceremony, held at The Botanic Gardens in Ventnor today (Wednesday, August 19th), to find out how their horticultural and floral displays had been judged in this year’s Wight in Bloom campaign.

Managed by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) and co-funded by the DMO (Destination Marketing Organisation), Red Funnel Ferriesand a range of sponsors, Wight in Bloom 2015 is being developed as a curtain-raiser to VIOW’s Garden Isle campaign, which will coincide with Visit England’s Year of the Garden 2016.

Wight in Bloom is open to all Island residents and organisations with the aim to make the Island a brighter, greener place to live and visit.

The awards were presented by the celebrity gardener and TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh, who was revealed as Patron of the newly introduced horticultural competition at a “floating garden” launch event held on board Red Funnel’s Red Eagle car ferry in May.

The results come after judges visited Island gardens earlier this summer. Entries were shortlisted for one of the nine awards on offer and judged by a team of volunteers that included Island horticultural businesses, as well as Peggy Jarman, Honorary President of Wight in Bloom.

Winners in each category received gardening vouchers and tools, sponsored by local garden centres and tourism businesses, in recognition for the skill and pride they displayed in their gardens and neighbourhoods.

Ventnor Botanic Gardens were the venue sponsor, while Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare provided gift bags containing beauty products for all of the main winners.  The live music performances were kindly supplied by Classic Isle.  There was also a prize for the overall winner who was presented with a glass trophy, courtesy of The Needles Landmark Attraction.

With more than 100 entrants this year, including small and large front gardens, schools, community groups, towns and villages, the results announced at the prestigious awards ceremony were “blooming” marvellous in each of the nine categories.


Category 1 – Best Small Front Garden

Sponsored by Care in the Garden, Wootton

1st                                 David Mansfield, Binstead

2nd                                Carol Pryke, Binstead

Highly Commended     Pamela Toms, Northwood


Category 2 – Best Large Front Garden

Sponsored by Thompson Plant & Garden Centre

1st                                Hilary Wellsted, Bembridge

2nd                               Mr & Mrs Denness, Sandown

Highly Commended    Mrs J Hinton, Niton


Category 3 – Best Public House Garden

Sponsored by Medina Garden Centre

1st                                The Buddle Inn, Niton

2nd                               The Dairyman’s Daughter, Arreton

Highly Commended    Vernon Cottage Tearoom, Tavern and Restaurant


Category 4 – Best Accommodation Garden

Sponsored by Busy Bee Garden Centre

1st                                The Havelock

2nd                                Bembridge Coast Hotel

Highly Commended     Heatherleigh Guest House


Category 5 – Best Senior Citizen Complex, Nursing Home, Care Home

Sponsored by Jubilee Garden Centre

1st                                 Chemotherapy Garden, NHS Trust, St Marys Hospital

2nd                                 Knights Court, Ventnor

Highly Commended      The Briars, Sandown


Category 6 – Best Young People Initiative

Sponsored by Honnor & Jeffrey Garden Centre

1st                                  Bembridge C of E Primary

2nd                                 The Children’s House Montessori

Highly Commended      Northwood Primary School


Category 7 – Best Community Floral Project

Sponsored by Ager Farm Nursery

1st                                   Aspire, Trinity Building, Ryde

2nd                                   East Cowes Floating Bridge and Carosal

– Care in the Garden, Wootton

Highly Commended        War Memorial Gardens Bembridge

–      Bembridge Weeders


Category 8 – Best Tourist Attraction Garden – Large  

Sponsored by Forest View Nursery                                

1st                                   Mottistone Gardens – National Trust

2nd       Joint                    Osborne House – English Heritage

2nd       Joint                    Ventnor Botanic Gardens


Best Tourist Attraction Garden – Small 

Sponsored by Forest View Nursery

 1st                                     Rylstone Crazy Golf & Tea Gardens 

 2nd                                     The Old Smithy, Godshill

Highly Commended          Model Village, Godshill


Overall Winner             

Sponsored by The Needles Landmark Attraction

Aspire, Trinity Building, Ryde


Alan Titchmarsh MBE, VMH (Victoria Medal of Honour RHS), said:  “Today it is my pleasure and privilege to present these awards to such worthy winners. You have produced such stunning plant and floral displays which delight so many people on a daily basis.

“All our winners would, I am sure, have put their skills to good use without this competition but, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we are able to publicly reward our green- fingered Islanders and say thank you.”

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “Alan’s involvement played a huge part in the promotion and success of the campaign and has meant that entries increased by more than 30% this year.  This is a stunning result and I would like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who made a special effort to make the Island look its best.”

Simon Dabell, Chairman of Visit Isle of Wight, who welcomed guests to the awards ceremony, said: “Each individual garden plays its part in making the Island an even lovelier place, both for people who live here and for visitors.

“This year’s competition is particularly special as Visit Isle of Wight will be continuing to put the Garden Isle landscape at the heart of its marketing message in 2016”.

Kevin George, Chief Executive of Red Funnel, said: “Red Funnel is delighted to be sponsoring Wight in Bloom for a second year. The competition has brought vibrancy and colour to the visitor experience and we would like to congratulate the winners and runners-up as well as thank all those who entered”.


Notes to Editors

Images attached:

L to R – Kevin George, Chief Executive of Red Funnel Ferries, with the team from Aspire, receiving their award from Alan Titchmarsh.

For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, tel: 01983 521555 extension 29, 07766 705672, E-mail:

Judging criteria for the competition is based on a points system and marked on:

Overall impression

  • General design and layout
  • Range and use of plants displayed
  • Use of flower and foliage; colour in design
  • Presentation and maintenance
  • Innovation, creativity in design, colours etc


The Overall Winner was selected from the 9 winners of each category, and was the garden with the highest points scored.


The Aberdeen Asset Management photography competition is back and this year gives participants the chance to win daily prizes from event partners and an overall winner’s prize of a £500 Amazon voucher courtesy of title sponsor, Aberdeen Asset Management.

It couldn’t be easier for spectators and sailors at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week to share their personal pictures and be in with the chance of winning some fabulous prizes.

Organisers of the week-long regatta have challenged entrants to simply share a photo with @Cowes_Week on either Twitter or Instagram and hashtag #MyCowesWeek to be in with a chance of winning.

Kate Johnson, CWL’s Commercial & Marketing Director said: “The competition is open to all spectators, competitors and budding photographers at the regatta, and we are encouraging all event participants to share ‘what Cowes Week means to them’ through a photo on Twitter or Instagram. The images can be taken either on the water or onshore and participants are welcome to share as many as they like!”

At the end of each day a shortlist of images that have been directed to @Cowes_Week using the #MyCowesWeek will be shared on the event website, and one winner will be chosen to win a daily prize supplied by key event partners.

Finally, an overall winner will be selected at the end of the week from the eight daily winning entries. The selected photo will then be crowned winner of the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week #MyCowesWeek photography competition, taking home a £500 Amazon voucher.

The judging panel will be formed of representatives from Aberdeen Asset Management, Cowes Week Limited and event partners to judge the daily and overall winners, along with professional Getty Images photographer, Alan Crowhurst.

Commenting on the announcement, Jill Maxwell, Head of Sponsorship at Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “Everyone at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week is eager to make the event as accessible as possible. By creating this #MyCowesWeek photography competition we hope that all visitors to the regatta will engage with Cowes Week through simply sharing an image from their phone. Pictures can paint a thousand words, so we are really looking forward to seeing how different people capture what the regatta means to them.”

In addition to the overall winner’s prize the #MyCowesWeek daily prizes have been confirmed as:

Saturday 8th August – A bottle of Chilgrove Dry Gin courtesy of Chilgrove Gin*

Sunday 9th August – Two spaces for racing in the Sunsail Match First 40 Class courtesy of Sunsail Events

Monday 10th August – An all-performance crew jacket courtesy of Gill

Tuesday 11th August – A treatment gift voucher and array of products worth £200 courtesy of Liz Earle on Ladies Day

Wednesday 12th August – A pair of deck shoes courtesy of Chatham Marine

Thursday 13th August – A Cowes Week ‘Goodie Bag’ courtesy of Aberdeen Asset Management

Friday 14th August – The use of an all-new Volvo XC90 for a week together with a Volvo Ocean Race goodie bag courtesy of Volvo*

Saturday 15th August – A bottle Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2010 courtesy of Nyetimber*

The competition will be open for entries from Saturday 8th August and will close at the conclusion of the regatta, 15th August. For more information on the competition and for full terms and conditions, please visit

So what does Cowes Week mean to you? #MyCowesWeek @Cowes_Week

For full terms & conditions please click here.


Notes to Editors:

*proof of age will have to be supplied in order to receive the prize – an alternative prize will be given to those that don’t meet the legal requirements to receive the prize. 

About Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Cowes Week is one of the UK’s longest running sporting events, having first taken place in 1826. The aspirational and inclusive sailing regatta is the largest of its kind in the world, attracting between 800 and 1,000 yachts in up to 40 classes. Around 7,000 competitors race during the week, ranging from weekend sailors to World Champions and Olympic medallists.

The lively festival atmosphere at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week means there are plenty of social and exciting onshore activities for sailors and the thousands of spectators who visit Cowes each year. The next edition of the regatta takes place from 8th – 15th August 2015 (a little later than usual due to the tides). Entries are now open online.

The event is supported by its Title Sponsor, Aberdeen Asset Management, along with the following supporting sponsors who also help to make the event a success: Liz Earle, Boss Watches, Chatham Marine, Chilgrove Gin, CNBC, Gill, Isle of Wight Council, Mount Gay Rum, Nyetimber,Sunsail,  and Volvo Car UK. The Official event charity is UKSA, supporting youth sailing opportunities.


About Cowes Week Limited

Cowes Week Limited (wholly owned by Cowes Combined Clubs Limited) was formed in November 2007 to provide a single management board with overall responsibility for the event. This ensures that the business operation of both the shore-side and racing elements are managed in a streamlined way.

About Aberdeen Asset Management

Aberdeen is an independent asset management company. Formed out of a management buy-out in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1983, it is now a FTSE 100 company operating on the ground in over 23 countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Defined by a pure focus on asset management, including equities, fixed income, property and multi-asset portfolios, Aberdeen’s investment solutions are driven by commitment to straightforward, transparent investment approaches that stress intensive, first-hand research and a long-term view.

The company manages £307 billion in assets on behalf of institutional and private investors, as of 30th June, 2015.

Aberdeen participates in sponsorships where it can get actively involved and make a difference to an event, individual or team. Aberdeen’s current sport sponsorship portfolio includes properties across golf, sailing, rowing and hockey. The group is also involved with a number of cultural and arts sponsorships.

To find out more about Aberdeen’s capabilities visit:

To find out more about Aberdeen’s sponsorships visit:





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