Hearts for tigers fundraising campaign launched

Help The Wildheart Trust provide safe sanctuary on the Isle of Wight for a rescued tiger 

“We can’t change the world for every tiger in need but together we can make the world of difference for this one. Every penny will all add up to provide a much richer life for this animal.” Chris Packham – broadcaster, author and trustee of The Wildheart Trust.

The Wildheart Trust is based at the Isle of Wight Zoo. The zoo has long been known and respected for its provision of lifelong refuge for unwanted, confiscated and mistreated big cats and is committed to the care and conservation of these wonderful animals. During the Isle of Wight Zoo’s 40 year lifetime more than 60 big cats have been given safe haven here. From tigers to lions and jaguars, the dedicated specialised team have worked tirelessly to ensure they have had a safe, loving and enriching place to call home. Currently the zoo’s big cat family totals 8 individuals who have come from a variety of unfortunate backgrounds.

Every year countless big cats end up in temporary rescue centres across Europe, all with a tragic story to tell. Whether they have been abandoned by private owners (who no longer want them after they outgrow the cute and cuddly phase) or have been subjected to cruelty or bad welfare in circuses, they all need a permanent home. Until they find one, other desperate animals must wait their turn to be saved.

In March of this year the zoo sadly lost one of its beloved tigers, Lola, an elderly ex-circus cat. Lola left behind her good friend Simi, also an ex-circus tiger. In many ways Lola’s loss was bittersweet, because as much as she is still missed, there is now space to rescue another tiger. However, in order to facilitate this major re-development of the old outdoor enclosure complex, work must be undertaken to ensure it meets the highest standards for this next era of rescue work. Unfortunately, at this time the zoo does not have the funds in its operating budget to cover the cost of this renovation work and therefore must fundraise.

A dedicated crowdfunder page has been set up to assist the zoo in raising the vital funds and donations are now starting to roll in ,every donation made will take the zoo one step closer to reaching its goal.


Message from CEO and trustee of The Wildheart Trust – Charlotte Corney

“Without the support of our friends we would never have evolved into the specialist centre that we are today. Once we have completed the renovation, the team will be ready and waiting to welcome another tiger into The Wildheart family where he or she will be provided with exemplary day to day care”

How much will the project cost?  

The project will be undertaken in two phases and will cost a total £50,000.

Phase 1 (£38,000) will include:

  • Demolition and removal of old enclosure
  • Replacement of exterior fencing
  • Construction of a new dividing fence
  • Planting and soft landscaping
  • Creation of two ponds
  • Building of resting platforms

Phase 2 (£12,000) will include:

  • Building of two heated rocks with caves

In the unlikely event that the project should come in under budget we will ensure that any surplus funds raised be put into a ‘Tiger Pension Plan’ for the rescued tiger. These funds would help towards the future care of the individual cat. 

The aim is for Phase 1 of the work to be completed by the end of the summer, with sufficient funds raised to enable the zoo to embark on Phase 2 by the autumn of 2017. The sooner the facility is completed, the sooner the zoo can welcome a tiger into its care.


Media enquiries: Karen-Jane Dudley, Marketing & Events Officer, Isle of Wight Zoo
marketing@isleofwightzoo.com  01983 403883 http://www.isleofwightzoo.comNotes to editors:

The Isle of Wight Zoo aims to promote the survival of endangered species through first class educational and recreational experiences, exemplary animal management, conservation and research. The Zoo is best known for its work with exotic cats. As a centre for surplus or rescued big cats, all have come to the Zoo at different stages of their lives and from a variety of backgrounds. The Isle of Wight Zoo is currently home to 4 tigers, 3 lions and 1 jaguar

Dresses worn by Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria go on display at Osborne ahead of new film ‘Victoria & Abdul’

Costumes worn by Dame Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard and Ali Fazal in the forthcoming feature film ‘Victoria & Abdul’ will go on show for the first time at Osborne, Queen Victoria’s Isle of Wight home on Monday 24 July, 2017.

The English Heritage property where much of the film was shot will present a stunning array of costumes worn by the principal characters: Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria, Eddie Izzard as Bertie, Prince of Wales, and Ali Fazal who plays Abdul Karim.

Designed by the Oscar nominated costume designer Consolata Boyle, the costumes pay meticulous attention to historical detail even down to the Queen’s V&A monogrammed shoes.  Formal and informal attire worn by Dame Judi can be seen including the black silk gown with gold front piece the Queen wears while waiting for Abdul’s return to Osborne after a long trip away.  Amongst Ali Fazal’s costumes is the faithfully recreated scarlet and gold livery, complete with peacock blue striped silk turban, which was designed for the Queen’s Indian servants who waited at table in her new Indian inspired dining room.

English Heritage Curator at Osborne, Michael Hunter says: “Osborne was Queen Victoria’s private family home which means visitors can step straight into Queen Victoria’s world when they get here.  Victoria & Abdul is the first film to ever use the interiors of Osborne as a location and these costumes add an extra layer to the rich experience of a visit here. We can’t wait to see it in all its glory on the big screen; in particular the story of how an Indian man servant won the Queen’s respect and trust.”

Costume Designer, Consolata Boyle said: “The thought that my costumes for Victoria & Abdul, through this Exhibition, and our imaginations, will inhabit the same rooms and gardens where Queen Victoria walked and lingered, makes it a particular honour and joy for me.”

The exhibition opening tomorrow (24 July) and set to run until the 30th September 2017 – is located in the Queen’s Indian inspired Durbar Room which itself features in the film, along with the newly renovated Lower Terrace, the Grand Corridor and the Queen’s sitting room.

Osborne is open daily from 10am – 5pm, and the costume exhibition is included in the standard admission ticket.  Further details are at www.english-heritage.org.uk/osborne

Victoria & Abdul is released in cinemas in the UK on 15 September 2017.


IMAGES can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8eq6o4uex3jvlqs/AABDx_TBtYbHpk4hYDRDvWXea?dl=0 © English Heritage

For further information or images please contact:  Isobel Cooley PR Manager, South East on 01304 209891 or email Isobel.cooley@english-heritage.org.uk

Notes to editors:

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites – from world famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to Cold War bunkers. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.


Registered charity no. 1140351

Victoria & Abdul: From Working Title comes the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favour with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.  Victoria & Abdul is distributed by Universal Pictures International.

Wightlink’s £45million investment in the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route reaches another milestone

The first vehicles have embarked and disembarked Wightlink’s flagship St Clare using the company’s new two-tier upper and lower boarding ramps at Portsmouth and Fishbourne.

From now on, cars and small vans will use the upper ramp and lorries, coaches and other larger vehicles will use the lower ramp.

The two ramps allow staff to load and unload the ship faster and more efficiently, they will also be used on Wightlink’s new vessel when she comes into service in 2018. Wightlink’s other car ferries on the route, St Faith, St Cecilia and Wight Sun will continue to use the lower ramp only.

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield was among the first people to drive on board St Clare using the upper ramp and joined customers and staff on board.

“This marks a milestone for Wightlink Ferries as the first stage of our £45million investment in future services. Our new port redevelopment will offer customers better facilities and smoother crossings to and from the Isle of Wight,” says Keith.

The first customers to board the 11:00 sailing in Portsmouth using the upper ramp were Ian and Brigitte Park from West Malling, Kent. They were on their way to Ventnor for the weekend to celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary. “We’re very excited to be making history as part of Wightlink’s new development, it has been an amazing start to our holiday on the Isle of Wight,” says Ian.

The first customers to board the return 12:00 sailing in Fishbourne were John Stewart, Susan Ford and 15 year old Emily Ford, 15, from Billericay, Essex. The family had been on the Isle of Wight for a six day break staying with friends who had recently moved to the Island. John says: “We had a great time – the Island is a lovely place and we will certainly come back again.” Before driving the first car on the new ramp, John adds: “We knew that the facilities here were new but not quite that new!”

Work began on the new boarding ramps in September 2016 as part of Wightlink’s £45million investment in future services.

For more information please contact Karen Woods 07775 694266 karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk<mailto:karenwoods@wightlink.co.uk

M: 07775 694266



HRH The Princess Royal will be visiting Cowes Week this year, for two days; from 31 July to 1 August 2017.

During her stay, in her role as President of Riding for the Disabled, she will visit the Isle of Wight Riding for the Disabled at Osborne House. She will also visit the offices of Cowes Week Limited, as Admiral, attend a Reception at the Royal London Yacht Club, and attend dinner as an Honorary Member of the Royal Yacht Squadron.

On the following day, she will start the Triple Crown Yacht Race from the Royal Yacht Squadron Battlements, before as Patron, visit the United Kingdom Sailing Academy.

HM Lord-Lieutenant, Major General Martin White CB CBE JP said: “I am very pleased to welcome back to the Island HRH, particularly during Cowes Week when she will also have an opportunity to see other aspects of life in our community.”

Chairman of the Isle of Wight Council, Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox, said: “We are delighted that HRH is visiting and continuing the Royal presence for Cowes Week.”


Notes to Editors:

For further information contact:

Riding for the Disabled:  Julie Elliston 07790 791057

Cowes Week Limited, Kate Johnson 01983 248003

Royal London Yacht Club, Secretary Kate Paris 01983 299727

Royal Yacht Squadron, Secretary Trisha Lewington 01983 292191

United Kingdom Sailing Academy – Rosie Peckham 01983 294941 ext 177

Issued by:
Helen Wheller, Media Team Leader

Email: helen.wheller@iow.gov.uk


120th anniversary celebrations of first radio transmission is highlight of summer at The Needles Landmark Attraction, Isle of Wight

A day of celebrations to mark the 120th anniversary of the first radio transmission from The Needles is the highlight of five weeks of free summer fun at the Isle of Wight’s landmark attraction.

Marconi’s Day on Monday, August 14 will mark the achievement of Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi who successfully sent the first long-distance radio transmission from his base at The Needles more than a century ago.

To celebrate, staff at the attraction will be wearing clothing from the era with a Victorian theme throughout and live music from the award-winning Macclesfield Youth Brass Band.

There will be live theatrical re-enactments of Marconi’s feat, with the great man himself putting in an appearance, while expert marksmen will demonstrate a range of Victorian guns.

The IW Radio Society will also be setting up a station at the Landmark Attraction giving visitors the opportunity to gain an insight into how Marconi’s transmissions were really sent in the 19th Century.

And throughout the rest of the summer holidays there will be a party atmosphere at The Needles with stilt walkers, dancers, magicians, pirates and princesses greeting visitors along the main street

Marino Zanti, general manager at The Needles Landmark Attraction, said:  “We wanted to mark Marconi’s groundbreaking achievement as part of our five weeks of family fun for visitors to enjoy during the summer holidays.

There’s so much planned, including live music from island artists like Groove Union, Brando and the legendary Derek Sandy.

“Marconi’s Day will be a fantastic party, transforming the Landmark Attraction for 24 hours, while our Thursday night fireworks spectacular promises a feast for the eyes and ears while supporting worthy causes.

“Visitors only have to pay for parking and any activities they want to enjoy – the entertainment itself is all free of charge.”

Needles’ Music & Magic in the Skies fireworks extravaganza, takes place every Thursday in August with each of the weekly pyrotechnic events supporting a different island charity.

This year, the evening will include entertainment from circus acts to live music and the fireworks show will finish with an unmissable trip down memory lane, featuring some favourite childhood memories from much-loved films.

The summer of free family fun at The Needles runs from Thursday, July 27 to Thursday, August 31.  Supersaver tickets to rides and attractions at The Needles are available online, giving a 25% discount.

For more information about The Needles Landmark Attraction visit the website: www.theneedles.co.uk, follow on Twitter @VisitTheNeedles or at facebook.com/visittheneedles


For further information, please contact Paul Baker or Richard Clein on 0151 304 7017.

About Guglielmo Marconi

In early December 1897, to investigate and experiment with transmission to ships at sea, Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi set up his revolutionary wireless equipment in the Royal Needles Hotel, above Alum Bay, and sent the very first wireless transmission.

Little now remains of Marconi’s experimental stations, as the hotel and masts have long since gone, however a monument to him stands on the cliff top within the park and information lecterns provide a detailed history of radio, Marconi and the role played by Alum Bay in this truly historic event.

About Summer 2017 at The Needles

The Isle of Wight’s world-famous landmark attraction has prepared five weeks of free family fun, kicking off on July 27 and running through to the end of August.

Music & Magic in the Skies fireworks events take place every Thursday throughout August.

The following Isle of Wight charities will be supported on these specific dates:

Thursday 3rd – Needles Coastguards

Thursday 10th – Challenge & Adventure

Thursday 17th – Ability Dogs for Young People

Thursday 24th – Beaulieu Respite

Thursday 31st – Earl Mountbatten Hospice

A timed schedule of summer events will be available from The Needles’ website, Facebook page and Twitter account. Southern Vectis will be putting on a special timetable for buses to and from the site during the summer holidays.

About The Needles Landmark Attraction

The Needles Landmark Attraction gives visitors access to wonderful views of The Needles, the Isle of Wight’s world famous chalk stacks.

Take an unforgettable chairlift ride from the cliff-tops to the multi-coloured sands of Alum Bay, where you can take a pleasure boat out to The Needles.

The Needles offers a range of attractions including a Sand Shop where visitors can make their own souvenir using the multi-coloured sands from Alum Bay, glassmaking at Alum Bay Glass, the Sweet Manufactory, 4D Cinema, Jurassic Golf, plus a range of children’s rides and amusements.

Refreshments are available at the 250-seat self-service Marconi’s Restaurant and fully-licenced Marconi’s Tea Rooms. These newly-refurbished eateries are named after the pioneering inventor who sent the very first wireless transmission from his base at Alum Bay.


Paul Baker
PR Account Manager

Boxed Off Communications Ltd
Box Studios, 17 Boundary Street,
Liverpool, L5 9UB

0151 304 7017 | 07757 943147
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