Rare sea eagle joins the falconry team...
After months of waiting, 10-month-old Chief, a rare White-tailed Sea Eagle, has finally arrived on the Island for what we hope will be an incredible opportunity to educate visitors on the species that became extinct nearly 200 years ago, and provide a major draw to attract people back to the Island after the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief will join a team of over 30 birds looked after by 22-year-old Charlie Rolle, one of the Isle of Wight’s youngest qualified falconers. He will train Chief to fly and express his natural behaviours, so that the magnificent eagle will be ready to educate visitors upon re-opening on 19th May in the park’s spectacular falconry displays.
Charlie Rolle, Head Falconer at Robin Hill said, “It has been my childhood dream to train a White-tailed Sea Eagle. It’s been a slow and steady journey to build a bond of trust with Chief, with his welfare of the upmost importance. It is my passion that time spent with animals and learning from them will help our visitors become more aware of the conservation of our fellow inhabitants and the environmental challenges they face. There is nothing more awe-inspiring than to see a bird of prey in action.”
Why the name Chief?
We believed as such a large, majestic bird, he needed a name worthy of his sense of seniority & superiority. One that was easily recognisable while still characterful. A single syllable is also preferential from a falconer’s perspective, so the bird recognises its name quickly during training and displays.
Where did he come from?
Chief arrived on the Isle of Wight with Charlie after a long journey from the Scottish Eagle Centre. Thanks to Wightlink for providing ferry travel across the Solent to ensure both Chief & Charlie arrived home safely.
Chief weighs in at 9.5lb and has a whopping 7.5ft wingspan. He doesn’t yet have his ‘white tail’, as those feathers grow as he gets older.
Is predominantly fish, provided by the local Ventnor Haven Fishery, but he also loved quail.
Is a 1-to-1 process for Charlie and Chief to build a trusted bond, where Chief is slowly becoming accustomed to Charlie’s voice.
James Crofts, Park Manager at Robin Hill, said, “We are so excited to be reopening with a brand-new arrival that enhances our ability to educate and enthral visitors on rare and wild birds. Chief signifies our ongoing development of quality falconry experiences on site, and we hope that by getting up close and personal people will have more appreciation for the species overall.”
He continues: “We hope Chief will not only see a bumper reopening season for the attraction, but also support the Island’s post COVID recovery by providing a big draw for visitors this year.”
GUEST INFORMATION UPDATE
In response to the Coronavirus situation, we’ve taken the tough decision to postpone the planned opening for February half term.
In celebration of Chinese New Year, Spirit of the Orient was set to take place in February. However, due to the current national lockdown, this is no longer possible, so our teams are working on plans to bring the illuminated experience back later in the year. Further details of when you’ll be able to enjoy the Chinese-themed festivities will be announced in due course.
Both Robin Hill and our sister park Blackgang Chine remain closed until the planned re-opening in the Spring. We’ll keep you as updated as possible over the coming weeks so keep an eye on our websites and social media pages.
We thank all our guests and suppliers for your cooperation and understanding during this time.
Frequent Visitor Passes
We appreciate the ongoing support of our Frequent Visitor Pass holders and can’t wait to see you all back in the park as soon as possible. If you have a valid 2020 or 2021 FVP and would like to be kept up to date with the latest news surrounding our 2021 opening plans, please make sure you’ve signed up to our FVP newsletter. (You’ll need your unique FVP code to do this!) Simply follow this link: https://robin-hill.com/fvp-signup/
2021 park tickets will be launched as soon as we’re able to confirm our opening dates and times for 2021. In the meantime, digital Gift Vouchers are still available to purchase online. These are redeemable both online and in-park against any admission ticket or Frequent Visitor Pass and valid for 12 months! Find out more here: https://tickets.robin-hill.com/product/robin-hill-gift-voucher/
Our incredible team have joined forces with two other Isle of Wight businesses to provide desperately-needed clothing to the Island’s care sector. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, local care homes and community carers are needing more scrubs than ever and we’ve stepped in to help!
Reuben Loake, Managing Director of Ryde based company Isle of Wight Jobs, got in touch with clothing manufacturer Rapanui in Freshwater to see if they had any spare material of clothing available to use as scrubs.
“In a highly generous gesture, Rapanui immediately agreed to release a container full of high-quality clothing to any healthcare provider that needed it.” – Reuben, Isle of Wight Jobs
After posting on the Isle of Wight Jobs Facebook group that there was clothing available, Reuben received a high number of calls from care providers desperately needing disposable garments such as t-shirts as well as over 100 local people offering to help sew the garments into scrub trousers, scrub bags and head bands.
Reuben Loake says, “It soon became clear there was urgent need for disposable clothing in the care sector and we needed to act fast. If a care worker comes into contact with someone displaying symptoms, they should ideally be able to change their clothes before visiting another client.”
We then offered to become the distribution centre for the operation, as well as some of our wonderful team volunteering their time to sort through the items and transport over 100 boxes of garments from Rapanui in Freshwater to the park.
Reuben says, “The response so far has been overwhelming with over 20 care providers getting in touch after we posted our campaign on social media. We now need more homes and agencies to contact us with their requirements for tops. We have a range of sizes available as well as hoodies for those self-isolating in the care homes themselves and away from home.”
Robin Hill will be open for collections from Monday April 27th. Care staff can order garments and then access the car park where their order will be ready to pick up.
To find out more or to make an order please call Isle of Wight Jobs on 01983 475110 or send a message to the Isle of Wight Jobs Facebook page
The first two weekend’s of our long-awaited winter spectacular, POLAR, have been a great success!
The park saw hundreds of customers through its gates, all immersing themselves in the woodland world of winter magic.
Since the event’s announcement back in June, POLAR has been highlighted as one not-to-miss this Christmas and it hasn’t disappointed customers…
“Well done Robin Hill, POLAR is amazing, the best event yet (and we’ve been to them all). Would recommend it for everybody. Thank you.”
POLAR plays host to an array of festive delights; from the twinkling winter woodland and seasonal food & drink offering, to the handmade decoration workshops and themed rides. The evenings culminate in a heart-warming finale show that sees a little boy’s Christmas dream come true, with a very special surprise that delights audiences and has brought a tear to the eye on many already!
“We just wanted to say a huge thank you to the Robin Hill team for our wonderful evening at POLAR! We had such a lovely time; it was so nice to have a special experience to share as a family. These times are precious and important.”
Visitors can take a ride on the Big Red Express, driven by none other than Father Christmas himself and then follow the winter fairies through the woodland to the POLAR Hollow. After marvelling at the giant 30-foot-tall Christmas tree, continue the journey to meet the star of the show, life-sized polar bear, Pippa! She’s a big bear but she’s as gentle as they come and is particularly fond of hugs.
Only 4 dates remain with limited capacity, so don’t miss out and book now! For more information, and to book your POLAR experience, CLICK HERE!
CALLING ALL FVPs
We want to celebrate the last weekend of Festival of Light with you!
This year is the final year of our Diwali inspiration theme so we’re giving you the ultimate wrap party experience with as much Holi Powder as we can find, PLUS an awesome 20% off curries!
Join us at Festival of Light, Inspired by Diwali on Saturday 2nd November to end the event with a bang!
Holi Colour Arena
We know how much you all love the vibrant Colour Arena so now’s your chance to make the most of it and experience it totally FREE! Visit on Saturday 2nd November, with your FVP card to claim your Holi Powder free of charge, even if you’ve already experienced the arena! Join us and get stuck in! Max 2 packets per guests – subject to availability.
Taste of India – EXCLUSIVE 20% OFF
Everyone’s loving our authentic curries this year and to celebrate the last evening of this event with you, all Frequent Visitor Pass holders will receive an exclusive 20% off any curry from the Woodland Ponds outlet! That means you could try our ‘Taste of India’, an explosion of Indian subcontinental taste, for only £7.20, that’s a saving of £1.80! Simply show your FVP card when ordering.
The feedback from the Electro-Light Circus this year has been incredible so we want to give as many of you the chance to see it as possible! If you’ve not yet seen the show, we advise arriving as early as possible to claim your tickets for either the 7:30pm or 9pm show. We’re expecting a large number of visitors with queues from 5pm onwards so please do ensure you’ve read the T&Cs and have all the information you need ahead of visiting, including your FVP cards.
We want to celebrate the end of this event and give as many of you a chance to see the show as possible but due to the Amphitheatre’s limited capacity, for safety reasons, Electro-Light Circus show tickets will continue to be issued as normal from our admissions desk upon entry to the park on a first-come-first-served basis, whilst availability lasts.
Don’t forget – bring FVP pass so you can get your discount, and so we can get you all in quickly… The park is open from 10 am on Saturday, so try to avoid arriving at 18.00 when queues are likely.
2019 Charity of the Year Announced
Vectis Ventures are proud to announce the Isle of Wight Youth Trust as their nominated charity for 2019. The partnership ensures collection boxes for donations positioned at both Robin Hill, the home of adventure and entertainment, and Blackgang Chine, the Land of Imagination, throughout the 2019 season.
The team at Vectis Ventures will be carrying out additional fundraising initiatives, events and fundraising activities to help more young people on the Isle of Wight access the crucial work of the Trust.
James Crofts, Park Manager at Robin Hill said “We are proud to be supporting the Isle of Wight Youth Trust in 2019. We have lots of exciting plans across both Robin Hill and Blackgang Chine to raise vital funds needed to support our island’s young people. We are looking forward to making a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our young people on the Isle of Wight.”
The Isle of Wight Youth Trust is the largest independent organisation providing youth mental health services on the Isle of Wight and committed to improving the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people on our island.
“As an Island-based, Island–focused charity, the Youth Trust relies on the support of our community to deliver vital services to support young Islanders. Last year, we offered around 5,500 one-to-one counselling sessions to over 1,000 young people – we simply would not have been able to do this without the support of our community. Vectis Ventures has a long history of supporting local charities and we are thrilled to have been chosen as their Charity of the Year for 2019. We look forward to working together throughout the year to ensure that young people have access to support in their time of greatest need.” Mairead Healy, CEO, Isle of Wight Youth Trust.
Whilst they offer a range of support for children, young people and their families, the majority of their work is concerned with providing a professional one-to-one counselling service. The problems that children and young people are experiencing when they visit are wide–ranging and there are many reasons why a young person may need counselling. Whatever the issues, the Isle of Wight Youth Trust are here to help.
Please visit https://www.iowyouthtrust.co.uk/ or follow their social media channels for more information.
PLANS FOR AN EXCITING AND IMAGINATIVE WATERPARK
Plans for an exciting and imaginative multi-million pound indoor waterpark, ‘The Springs’, at award-winning Isle of Wight attraction, Robin Hill Country Park, have been unveiled.
Plans for ‘The Springs’ will be submitted formally to the Isle of Wight Council as a planning application supported by an environmental statement.
This is an exciting project for a major new attraction that will have Island-wide and sub-regional impacts benefiting tourism, regeneration and job creation.
Alexander Dabell, Managing Director of Vectis Ventures Limited said,
‘After years of considered planning, we are delighted to unveil our proposals for ‘The Springs’, an exhilarating new indoor water park to be situated at Robin Hill Country Park, with the most stunning views across the Isle of Wight.
Tourism is very important for the Island and ‘The Springs’ is a further development of Robin Hill which is designed to extend the tourism season. We’ve had great success with our ‘electric woods’ events, attracting over 90,000 visitors over the last four years, however, the Island needs more innovative, fun all-weather attractions for visitors and residents in the autumn-winter months. ‘The Springs’ ticks that box and at the same time provides opportunities for other local tourism businesses to operate a longer season. ‘The Springs’ development will complement our plans for Nesting, creating a fantastic reason to visit the Isle of Wight.
We are extremely excited to progress with these plans, after all, ‘The Springs’ will be splashing great fun!’
Will Myles, Managing Director of Visit Isle of Wight says,
‘I am extremely proud to work with Vectis Ventures, who continually invest in the Isle of Wight’s tourism offering. ‘The Springs’ is exactly what we need on the island for residents and visitors alike. We are always looking for ways to extend our overall season, and this will certainly have a huge impact.’