Local Community News


Photo: Paul Naylor

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is calling on residents of the Isle of Wight to help defend our amazing underwater world.

The Trust is celebrating the people and wildlife that share our coasts through a 4-year project called Secrets of the Solent. As part of this project, which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, they are seeking local people to act as specialised volunteers called Marine Champions and Marine Ambassadors.

There are currently around 80 people volunteering with the Trust in this way, and they have formed a welcoming and supportive community. However, the project team want to ensure that the Isle of Wight is fully represented and are seeking Island residents to join them in building a bright future for our waters.

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There are several different roles available, and volunteers have the option to choose more than one or switch roles at any time. Volunteers do not need expert knowledge, and receive training and support to help them get the most out of the experience:

  • Ferry Safaris Marine Champion – highlight the incredible wildlife above and below our waves on local ferry crossings.
  • Great Solent Seafood Marine Champion – showcase our sustainable seafood produce and fisheries.
  • Inspiring People Marine Champion – spread the word about marine wildlife and encourage others to take action.
  • Intertidal Surveys Leader Marine Champion – discover local marine species and lead surveys of our shorelines.
  • Marine Ambassador – create positive change within a club, group, or organisation.

Emily Stroud, Community Engagement Officer, said:

“At this crucial time for our marine environment we need more people than ever standing up for its wildlife. The Isle of Wight is a wonderful place for nature, and is home to so many people who are passionate about making a difference. We hope to welcome some of them to our growing volunteer community and would love to hear from them.”

Erica Williams, a Marine Champion based on the Isle of Wight, said:

“I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get out and do what I love most: rockpooling and introducing children and young adults to the wonders of our local marine environment. I hope to instil in them the same passion that I have for the wealth of wildlife on our doorstep.”

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Anyone interested in becoming a Marine Champion or Marine Ambassador can find more information at www.hiwwt.org.uk/SecretsoftheSolent/MarineChampions or contact the project team on [email protected].

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