Tag Archives: Dinosaurs


A family from Ventnor got a surprise at Dinosaur Isle on Sunday 8 February when they became the museum’s millionth visitors.

Lee and Alison Starling and their daughters Tamlyn and Kaitlyn walked through the doors just before midday to take the total number of customers since the museum opened in 2001 past the magic number.

As part of the celebrations, Kaitlyn and Tamlyn each put a handprint on a special plinth which will remain outside the museum, recognising the milestone. The family were also given a yearly pass to the museum.

The museum has predicted it would reach the millionth customer figure on the day and was hosting a free fun day.

General manager Peter Pusey said: “We needed 474 people to come through the doors on Sunday, but ended up with nearly 1400 in total at the free fun day. The Starling family were the lucky ones to take the number past one million.

“I think they were a little shocked but were very happy and had a great time at the museum. It is certainly something they won’t forget for a while.”

Alison Starling added: “This was our first visit to Dinosaur Isle as we’d seen the event advertised and because there was plenty to do for the kids we decided to pay a visit.

“We were really surprised when the alarm sounded and to then be told by staff that we were the millionth visitors. It was so lovely for Tamlyn and Kaitlyn to have their hands cast in the cement outside, which will be lovely for them to always see as they get older.

“We feel honoured and would like to thank Dinosaur Isle for a lovely day and we are looking forward to spending more time there this summer with our free yearly pass we won.”

The museum first opened in August 2001 and has been going strong ever since. It holds tens of thousands of fossils, and regularly hosts popular fossil walks and school visits. Memorable discoveries down the years include a new species of pre-historic crocodile and a partial skeleton of a Brachiosaur.

Councillor Shirley Smart, Executive member for tourism and economy, said: “I was very happy to be at the museum on Sunday when the Starling family became the millionth visitor.

“The museum is a major part of the Isle of Wight’s tourism industry and I would like to congratulate all the staff and volunteers, past and present, who have helped the attraction reach this incredible milestone.”

Photos from the fun day are available to view on Dinosaur Isle’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dinosaurisle.


Visitors to Blackgang Chine are in for an exciting new treat this May half term when ‘Shadow’ and ‘Sheila’, the park’s resident baby Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs, introduce their latest dino friends and hatchlings in an amazing new family show, ‘Dino Encounters’.

From Saturday 24th May – Sunday 1 June, come and experience ‘Dino Encounters’ which combines theatre and excitement in this fun and interactive ‘live’ show which brings dinosaurs to life!   Visitors will be introduced to a range of species including our walking Procomsognathus dinosaurs, a baby Brachiosaurus and the mischievous ‘Caulkie’ the Caulkicephalus – all with personalities of their own!   Plus you can meet their handlers, learn some facts about these fascinating new dinosaurs – and for those brave enough to get up close and personal, there will be the chance to ‘pet’ and feed the new dinos too!

As well as enjoying this new show, there will be opportunities during the day for smaller children to ride our new walking dinosaurs – and for visitors new to the park this year, there’s the added excitement of ‘Restricted Area 5’, a brand new attraction which takes experiences with dinosaurs to another level.

Enter through the gates of ‘Restricted Area 5’ at your own risk!    Marvel at the gargantuan scale of the new life-size moving dinosaurs and encounter the most realistic experience since time began.  The journey through the ‘Restricted Area 5’ enclosure will bring you up close and personal with dinosaurs of all types including an Argentinosaurus, bigger than a double decker bus and the biggest animatronic T-Rex in the country!

Blackgang Chine is open from 10am – 6pm during May half term, and all tickets include ‘unlimited FREE returns for 7 days!

To find out more about the events taking place at Blackgang Chine this May half term and to download  a programme, please visit : www.blackgangchine.com or Blackgang Chine’s Facebook page.

Please note the new show, Dino Encounters, will take place, weather permitting.


For further information please contact Michelle Russell, Marketing & Communications Manager, Vectis Ventures Limited : 01983 732123 / 07436 283630 / michelle@vectisventures.co.uk



Dinosaur Capital Gets Stamp of Approval


Dinosaur Capital Gets Stamp Of Approval

 The Isle of Wight’s reputation as the Dinosaur Capital of Britain has been further enhanced thanks to the announcement that the Royal Mail is set to bring unveil ten commemorative dinosaur stamps – each featuring drawings by internationally famous Isle of Wight artist, John Sibbick.

The stamps depict ten ‘British’ dinosaurs, of which fossils from seven of the ten featured on the stamps have been previously found on the Isle of Wight.  Many of these fossils are on display at Dinosaur Isle in Sandown on The Isle of Wight.

To coincide with the launch of the Royal Mail’s special issue of stamps, on October 10th, the museum will be hosting an exhibition telling the story of the creation of the work by John Sibbick.

He said: “I always knew that designing and illustrating stamps was a rigorous and painstaking process.  To get the opportunity was a dream come true, especially depicting the world famous dinosaurs found on the Isle of Wight.  To get such access to fossil dinosaur bones, tracks and the plants in their environment on the Isle of Wight makes the reconstruction process a much more vivid experience.”

The stamps feature some of the UK’s most famous dinosaurs, including pterosaurs and marine reptiles.  Among the dinosaurs discovered on the Isle of Wight were: Baryonyx, which was the biggest UK meat eater of the time; and the Hypsilophodon, which was a small plant eater.

Dinosaur Isle’s general manager, Peter Pusey, said: “Only last year we were delighted to receive the donation of an impressive Baryonyx tooth discovered here on a local beach.  We are now thrilled to display this specimen alongside the stamps that capture this period of pre-history and bring it back to life.”

The exhibition will be on display in the museum from October 10th, until Christmas.  More details can be found at www.dinosaurisle.com.

Confirmed as the “Dinosaur Capital of Great Britain” by the Natural History Museum of London at the start of this year, and now offering all visitors an App which allows them to be photographed while walking with dinosaurs, the Isle of Wight is also linked with a major new film WALKING WITH DINOSAURS: THE 3D MOVIE due for launch in December.  For more details, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/dinosaur-island.Ends

For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672      E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk