New remains of what may be the oldest marine reptile to have been found on the Isle of Wight have just gone on display at Dinosaur Isle, Sandown.

The paddle bone; a femur, belongs to a large predatory reptile that would have been swimming in seas that formed over the Island millions of years ago. The bone has been identified by experts from the museum as belonging to a Plesiosaur, and closest resembles a Colymbosaurus, an animal that would have been similar in appearance to the Loch Ness monster, and swam the seas in the Jurassic period over 150 million years ago.

The bone was found at Yaverland Beach by a member of staff at Dinosaur Isle, Alex Peaker. Only a small part of the bone was exposed and took staff several days to remove the rock that encased the bone so that it could be identified. It is now on display with other fossils from the Island seas at Dinosaur Isle.

Alex Peaker, assistant community learning officer at Dinosaur Isle, who found the bone, said:
“The animal appears to have been a juvenile when it died and would have only been around 4 metres in length, but when fully grown it could have reached lengths of almost 10 metres.

“A combination of the age and type of rocks that are exposed on the Island mean that marine reptile remains such as Plesiosaurs are rarely found. Across the Island the oldest rocks that we have exposed are from the Lower Cretaceous, and are about 125 million years old, but we believe that this fossil may be much older.”

Commenting on the find, Richard Smout, Isle of Wight council heritage service manager said:
“Thanks to the eagle eyes of Alex and the team’s perseverance in painstakingly uncovering this hidden treasure, we now have an extremely rare find to display in our much loved Dinosaur Isle, just, in time for the Easter half term.

“I really recommend a visit as you will see dinosaur skeletons as they are found by the fossil hunters and can watch our volunteers preparing the latest exciting finds, as well as having the chance to view this latest extremely rare find.”

The oldest rocks exposed on the Island are from the Cretaceous period and date back to the Cretaceous period approximately 125 million years ago, but some of these rocks are known to contain much older fossils. During a period when the seas were encroaching on the land of the Island a large Jurassic escarpment had formed, allowing fossils that had formed 25 million years before hand to be eroded out of their Jurassic rocks and deposited into the younger Cretaceous rocks. It is believed that the new find is one of these much older fossils.


Notes to Editors:

More information about, and photos of the find can be found on the Dinosaur Isle facebook page at www.facebook.com/dinosaurisle or for more information on Dinosaur Island, please visit http://www.dinosaurisle.com/newhomepage.aspx




Isle of Wight coastal water quality given thumbs up

The Isle of Wight Council has welcomed the news that the Island has been successful in gaining ten Solent Water Quality Awards for 2016.

The locations are Colwell, Cowes, Gurnard, Ryde, Sandown, Seagrove, Shanklin, St Helens, Ventnor and Yaverland.

The Solent Water Quality Awards scheme is administered by the Solent Forum and provides a simple and readily understood indicator of satisfactory water quality at bathing beaches.

From this year, the bathing water quality has been assessed under the stringent EU Bathing Water Directive 2006/7/EC. c), with the Environment Agency being responsible for monitoring water quality and publishing this data on line. Additionally the council ensures that each location displays the necessary information so that the general public can make an informed decision as to where to bathe, swim or paddle. This means the public are able to easily associate the area to which the award applies.

The Isle of Wight Council Executive member for public transport, tourism, recreation and heritage, Councillor Shirley Smart said: “The Isle of Wight is already known for its great beaches so it is fantastic news that we have water quality to match. I am sure this news will be a great boost ahead of the main tourist season beginning in earnest from Easter.

“We have worked hard with our partners at the Environment Agency and Southern Water to ensure we keep these standards high so that visitors and residents alike can continue to enjoy our safe, clean water.”

David Thornton, chief executive, Visit Isle of Wight said:“The Island’s coastline is one of our greatest tourism assets and keeping it clean and safe is of the utmost importance. I am therefore delighted that the Island has been awarded ten Solent Water Quality Awards for 2016, offering an excellent choice of quality bathing for our visitors to enjoy this summer.”

Karen McHugh, Solent Forum manager said: “Solent water quality improvements are reflected in the 2016 awards and Isle of Wight beaches have performed well. It is good news to see that standards are high despite the introduction of more stringent standards in 2015”.

The council works in partnership with the Environment Agency and Southern Water to maintain the bathing water quality.

To help those deciding where to swim, information is online at https://www.gov.uk/quality-of-local-bathing-water  and on signs at the beach from May 2016.

Further information about the Solent Forum and the Awards scheme is available at http://www.solentforum.org/forum/sub_groups/Water_Quality_Group/water_quality_awards/


Notes to Editors:


The location classifications are:
Colwell = Excellent
Cowes = Excellent
Gurnard = Good
Ryde = Good
Sandown = Good
Seagrove = Good
Shanklin = Sufficient
St Helens = Good
Ventnor = Excellent
Yaverland = Good

The classification descriptions are as follows:
Excellent – This standard is the highest cleanest class
Good – generally good water quality
Sufficient – These waters pass the minimum acceptable standard for bathing
Poor – Swimming and paddling are not advised at this bathing water as the water quality has not met the minimum standard



Father’s Day delights on the Isle of Wight

It’s Father’s Day on June 19th so why not treat Dad to an overnight stay on the Isle of Wight where he can enjoy some great gift experiences?

He could learn about the restoration and maintenance of steam trains, relax and indulge in the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea, pick up some tips on how to create the perfect coastal garden – and even dress-up as a scurvy sea-dog at the Island’s annual Shipwreck Isle celebrations!

Shipwreck Isle

Shiver me timbers and man the riggings m’hearties for Shipwreck Isle 2016! The pirate extravaga is returning to Appley Beach as part of the Festival of the Sea and will be even bigger and better than last year as Ryde seafront is transformed into ‘Shipwreck Isle’. Expect cannon demonstrations sword fighting and lots more swashbuckling adventures as the Island celebrates its nautical past with a fun-filled weekend for Dads of all ages.

Where: Appley Beach, Ryde, Isle of Wight.

When: Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June.

Cost: Free

More info: http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/

Stay: The Royal Esplanade Hotel, pleasantly situated facing the Solent in the attractive seaside town of Ryde. Tel. 01983 562549, info@royalesplanadehotel.co.uk, www.royalesplanadehotel.co.uk

Father’s Day Workshop at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Steam trains… how do they keep going and how do we know how to repair them? Bring Dad along as the Island’s steam railway throws open its workshop doors and invites you to come and wander around and meet both the old hands and new apprentices who are being trained to do the work of a bygone era. Plus the chance to be transported by steam train through some of the Island’s countryside – and visit the Train Story Discovery Centre to see the impressive historic collection of  locomotives, Victorian and Edwardian carriages and other rare rolling stock.

Where: Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Havenstreet, near Ryde, Isle of Wight.

When: Sunday 19th June

Cost: On the gate prices: adult £13.00, child (5-15) £6.50, infant (0-4) free, family ticket £32.50 (2 Adults and 2 Children). If booked online: adult £11.50, child (5-15) £6.00, infant (0-4) free, family ticket £29.00. The prices include train rides. Please note, there is an extra charge for admission to the railway’s new Birds of Prey Centre.   More info: http://www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/events/workshop-open-day.aspx

Stay: Hotel Ryde Castle, the Esplanade, Ryde. Tel. 0845 6086040, rydecastle@oldenglishinns.co.ukwww.oldenglishinns.co.uk/our-locations/hotels-in-isle-of-wight-ryde-castle

Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea

A great gift for gourmet Dads, this robust afternoon tea with a masculine slant includes Fish Finger Sandwich, Tartare Sauce, Quail Scotch Eggs, Roast Beef, Yorkie & Gravy, Pork & Apple Sausage Roll, Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagel, Pancetta & Potato Scone and Chicken Butter, followed by Boozy Trifle, plus a pint of George’s Brew or two halves of your choice.

Where: The George Hotel, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight.

When: Book the experience by calling the hotel for availability and they will reserve a date that suits you – note, 24 hours’ notice is required. The ‘Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea’ is served daily from 3pm to 5pm.

Cost: £26 per person, plus postage (or free e-mail voucher).

More Info: Email info@thegeorge.co.uk, tel. 01983 760331, http://thegeorgehotel.giftpro.co.uk/products/view/1614/

Stay: The George Hotel, a 17th Century townhouse enjoying a wonderful location nestling on the water’s edge between the castle and pier in the bustling harbour town of Yarmouth. https://www.thegeorge.co.uk/

Design and inspiration with the Isle of Wight Coastal Gardener

Find out about which plants thrive in coastal conditions and learn how to create the best possible environment for your plants to flourish as the Coastal Gardener shares his ideas on designing and planting and offers advice about your own garden (please do bring along plans and or photographs of your garden). You will also visit his own coastal garden in Bembridge and take a short walk along the coast to see what’s thriving on the cliff edge and beach.

Where: This course will be run at the Nursery at Fakenham Farm, Eddington Road, St Helens, near Ryde, Isle of Wight.

When: Saturday 18th June 2016.10.30am to 3.30pm

Cost: £45.00 which includes all materials, equipment and seeds – please bring your own gloves if you like to wear them.
More info: To reserve your place please call/text 07977 550050 or email thecoastalgardener@icloud.com

Stay: The Spinnaker, a beautifully restored Edwardian hotel, set in the heart of the chic village of Bembridge. Tel. 01983 873572, www.thespinnakeriow.co.uk

For full details about visiting the Isle of Wight, go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk


For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:
Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight
07766 705672, sue@visitwight.co.uk








British rock icons The Who are heading back to Seaclose Park on the Isle of Wight for the fourth time in the band’s history to headline The Isle of Wight Festival, it was announced today.

Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and their live band, which includes Zak Starkey, Pino Palladino and Simon Townshend, will be bringing their globally successful Hits 50! tour to the island for their only UK festival performance of 2016 on Saturday 11th June, with a spectacular live show resplendent with hits including ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, ‘Baba O’Reilly’, ‘The Seeker’, ‘Pinball Wizard’, ‘Who Are You’ and ‘My Generation.’ The band first played The Isle of Wight Festival in 1969 and 1970 (the latter was immortalised in Murray Lerner’s well known ‘Message to Love’ documentary film), and then again in 2004 – the same year that David Bowie also headlined, his last ever UK live performance.

Richard Ashcroft is confirmed as special guest to The Who on the day, performing tracks from his new solo album ‘These People’.

Festival boss John Giddings says: “The Who are part of the fabric of The Isle of Wight Festival, and it’s great to welcome them back to the island as part of their ongoing 50th anniversary celebrations. We’re proud to have a line up of home-grown headliners to help celebrate our own 15th anniversary and ensure that this year delivers yet another unforgettable weekend of music.”

The Who and Richard Ashcroft join a ‘Best of British’ line up which includes headliners Queen + Adam Lambert, Stereophonics and Faithless, on what is the same weekend as the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The Who have sold over 100 million records since forming in 1964; they brought together four different personalities and in effect produced a musical hurricane.  Each of them was a pioneer. Wildman drummer Keith Moon beat his kit with a chaotic elegance; stoic bassist John Entwistle held down the center with the melodic virtuosity of a solo guitarist; raging intellectual Pete Townshend punctuated the epic universality of his songs with the windmill slamming of his fingers across his guitar strings; and Roger Daltrey roared above it all with an impossibly virile macho swagger. They exploded conventional rhythm and blues structures, challenged pop music conventions, and redefined what was possible on stage, in the recording studio, and on vinyl. Deep into their 50th year, the band is still going strong, winning rave reviews.

Richard Ashcroft is set to release his fourth solo album ‘These People’ in May, marking his first new album in six years. The BRIT and Ivor Novello winning artist was frontman of The Verve during the 90’s, producing hits such as ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ and ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’, before becoming a successful solo act in his own right – his first solo single ‘A Song For The Lovers’ peaked at No. 3 in the UK singles charts with the album ‘Alone With Everybody’ going to No. 1.

The Isle of Wight Festival takes place 9th-12th June at Seaclose Park, Newport.

A full range of ticket, travel and camping / accommodation options are available for The Isle of Wight Festival from www.isleofwightfestival.com.


·      Weekend with/without Camping – £195

·      Student – £175

·      Teen – £145

·      Children under 12 – free

·      Disabled Access – Must be purchased via the Ticketmaster Special Access number 0800 988 4440

Boutique Camping:

Camp Kerala Mademoiselle provide Luxury Glamping backstage with room service and VIP transport

Tangerine Fields – Turn up and find your tent already pitched plus Tangerine Bar and Cafe and grooming facilities

Eve’s Tipis – Try something different and stay in a tipi, plus enjoy cocktails or champagne from the bar or some hot breakfast options to start your day right

Podpads – Bunk down in the colourful Podpads with solid wood or canvas options

Love Your Tent – enjoy an ethical camping experience plus hot showers and a Poodle Parlour!

Pink Moon Camping – Choose from a colourful collection of accommodation and enjoy your weekend with a unique camping experience!


A variety of travel options including ferry, speed boats, river crossing, Big Green Coach Company and National Rail can be viewed on the festival’s website.


For more information please contact:

DawBell PR

T: 020 3327 7111

Kate Etteridge – kate.etteridge@dawbell.com

Lisa Birch (print) – lisa.birch@dawbell.com

Amelia O’Shea (online) – Amelia.oshea@dawbell.com

Maria Barham (broadcast) – maria.barham@dawbell.com

The Isle of Wight Festival 2016 Line Up To Date

Stereophonics – Faithless – The Who – Queen + Adam Lambert


Adam Ant – Alabama 3 – Blossoms – Busted – Buzzcocks – Cast – The Corrs –

The Cribs – The Damned – Everything Everything – The Family Rain – Feeder –

Gabrielle Aplin – The Godfathers – Gutterdammerung – Half Moon Run – 

The High Kings – Iggy Pop – Jess Glynne – Joanne Shaw Taylor – The Kills – Lissie  – Maxi Jazz & The E-Type Boys – Mike + The Mechanics – Ocean Colour Scene – Pendulum (DJ set) – Reef – Reverend and the Makers – Richard Ashcroft –  

The Second Sons – Sex Pissed Dolls – Sigma (live) – SIXX: AM – Status Quo – 

Sunset Sons – Turin Brakes – Twin Atlantic – The Wonder Stuff

10 of the best walks during the 2016 Isle of Wight Walking Festival April 30-May 15

With over 200 walks to choose from, this year’s Isle of Wight Walking Festival between April 30th and May 15th features a very topical Capability Brown Walk at Appuldurcombe (in the 300th anniversary year of the great man himself), as well as the Festival’s famous Speed Dating Walk.

A pdf of the full programme of walks can be downloaded from the Festival website, but here’s our “10 of the Best” to get you started…


Enjoy stretching your body and learning some yoga moves in preparation for your walk along the beach. Refreshments along the way and a relaxation session to rest and rejuvenate yourself after a gentle nature walk.  Duration: 2½ hours, 2 miles.  Cost: £5.


A scenic walk around our farm with your own llama or alpaca.  Learn all things alpaca and llama whilst walking with our beautiful friendly and endearing creatures.  Duration: 1 hour, 1 mile.  Cost: £15 per person walking a llama or alpaca (£3 for extra walker – up to a maximum of two).


Walk along a section of the Eastern Yar discussing the history of the river, the challenges it faces and possible remedies…while collecting twigs en-route for a major tournament!  Duration: 2½ hours, 3 miles.  Cost: Suggested donation of £2 to Gift to Nature.


The first of two walks to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.  The Isle of Wight Gardens Trust is offering an expert guided tour of the gardens and inner park to discover Brown’s only Isle of Wight designed landscape at Appuldurcombe, commissioned in the 18th century by the influential Worsley family.  The house is now in ruins and managed by English Heritage.  Duration: 1½ hours, 1½ miles.  Cost: £5 donation appreciated for conservation work of Isle of Wight Gardens Trusts.


Anecdotal guided walk to the site of the legendary 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, returning to Dimbola to see the Festival Exhibition (and ‘experience’ the award-winning tea room!).  Duration: 2½ hours, 4 miles.  Cost: Voluntary donation to Dimbola Lodge Museum.


Join Lily-May at the duck pond at Big Meade Shanklin, to feed the ducks before having great fun in the park.  Bring lots of friends (and an adult).  And don’t forget bread for the ducks.  Duration: 1 hour, 1 mile. Cost: Free.


This Tai Chi and Qi Gong walk is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness.  Ideal for co-ordination and balance, promoting control of both body and mind.  Duration: 1½ hours, 2 miles. Cost: £2 donation to Lifeboats.


Meet the person of your dreams on a speed dating walk along Sandown Bay.  Walk starts and finishes at the Fisherman’s Cottage Shanklin stopping for coffee at the Beach Café, Sandown.  Optional lunch at the Fisherman’s Cottage.  Duration: 3 hours, 4 miles. Cost: £12 to include lunch.


Let Taste of the Wight take you on a tour to delight your tastebuds.  Starting at Ventnor Haven Fishery, you will take-in Steephill Cove, Ventnor Botanic Gardens up St. Lawrence to the top of the Undercliff finishing at Whitwell.  All walkers are invited to finish with a meal of local produce back at The White Horse in Whitwell (at walkers’ cost).  Duration: 3 hours, 4 miles.  Cost: Free.


Walk the Wight is a 26½ mile cross-Island sponsored walk in aid of patient care at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.  The walk has some steps and stiles. Duration: 26½ miles.  Cost: Sponsorship or donation to the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

For all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.


For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight

07766 705672


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 www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org

10 of the best events on the Isle of Wight this year

The UK’s holiday Island offers a year full of fun and variety and if you have never been before, you don’t know what you are missing!

Isle of Wight Walking Festival – April 30th-May 15th

With more than 200 organised walks, the Isle of Wight Walking Festival boasts 16 days of unbeatable, informative and healthy walks for all abilities.  A great way to explore its spectacular scenery, wildlife and heritage, all walks are led by knowledgeable guides, who share their stories and history of the Island www.isleofwightwalkigfestival.co.uk

Festival of the Sea June – 18th– July 3rd

From the swashbuckling swagger of Shipwreck Isle in Ryde to the arrival of the world’s leading annual solo sailing race, the Solitaire Bompard – Le Figaro in Cowes – plus lots of nautically-themed entertainment and activity for the whole family – the Festival of the Sea is one of the most eye-catching coastal events anywhere around the UK coastline this summer http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/events/festival-of-the-sea

The Isle of Wight Festival – June 9th-12th

The 2016 Isle of Wight Festival will once again be staged at Seaclose Park, in Newport on the Isle of Wight with headline performances by Queen + Adam Lambert, the Stereophonics and Faithless www.isleofwightfestival.com

Ventnor Fringe – August 9th-14th

A celebration of the arts, showcasing emerging and established talent across every creative discipline on the Isle of Wight as well as artists from around the world.  This year it will be expanding with the International Festival www.vfringe.co.uk

Cowes Week – August 6th-13th

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week will take place this year from Saturday August 6th to 13th, and will feature an exciting and diverse blend of competitive sailing – as well as a strong social scene including Ladies Day – and the famous fireworks that take place on the final Friday of the event http://www.aamcowesweek.co.uk

The Garlic Festival – August 15th&16th

A vast array of eats, sights and sounds, the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival has become one of the Island’s most iconic events and is a superb family day out. Alongside the celebration of garlic (including in ice cream and beer form) there is live entertainment and music as well as hundreds of local arts and craft stalls http://www.garlic-festival.co.uk/

Ryde Carnival – September 1st

The oldest carnival in Britain dating back to 1886, Ryde Carnival is the largest community celebratory event of its kind on the Island. A spectacular fusion of carnival costumes, dance and performance http://www.rydecarnival.com/ryde-carnival-dates-2016/

Bestival – September 8th-11th

Another of the UK’s leading music festivals, Bestival will this year be staged in Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight between September 8th to 11thth.  The Cure, Major Lazer, Hot Chiip and Fat Boy Slim are amongst those to have already confirmed they will be playing this year http://www.bestival.net

The Isle of Wight Literary Festival – October 12th-16th

See and hear a cornucopia of literary talent at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival held at Northwood House in Cowes.  In addition to talks there will be walks, workshops, competitions, debates, children’s story telling, lots of music and a chance to sharpen your wits at a pub quiz http://www.isleofwightliteraryfestival.org/

Isle of Fright (October half-term)

Take an enchanted steam train trip, wander through the magical Electric Woods, visit the former haunts of smugglers and have the fright of your life at Spooky Castle as you visit the Isle of Fright this October half-term http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/whats-on/events/isle-of-fright

For all other events, please go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

Image attached: ‘Film in the Woods’ held during Ventnor Fringe, please credit Jon Ritchie.