Isle of Wight festival promotes Biosphere Reserve bid

ID 102337317 © Tukacszoli |

The Isle of Wight’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has bid to become England’s third UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

To support the bid, The New Carnival Company set the the island’s 2019 Mardi Gras festival to Biosphere Island last week.

The announcement was made to a sold out theatre at Quay Arts – the Isle of Wight’s key art centre.

The NCC revealed their plans for 36 parade group themes after taking inspiration from the island’s scenic surroundings.

Groups under the themes including Red Squirrels, Dark Skies, Fort Victoria and Chalk Downs will team up with a local institution for an educational visit or talk to inspire costume design.

Isle of Wight AONB lead officer Richard Grogan said: “The Isle of Wight AONB Partnership is pleased and proud to be leading the nomination for making the Isle of Wight England’s third UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

“This recognition acknowledges the Island as an international example of how people and nature can thrive together sustainably, and it gives us hope for the future of ourselves, our children and future generations living in this beautiful place.”

Richard also introduced Chris Woodley-Stewart from North Pennines Global Geopark, Rich Howorth from Brighton and Lewes Downs Biosphere and Matthew Cragoe, Chair of the UK UNESCO Man and Biosphere Committee to share their expertise on how Biospheres can significantly benefit an area.

The decision regarding the Isle of Wight’s Biosphere status will be made on the 18th June just before the festival is due to begin.

What are Biospheres?

According to UNESCO, Biospheres are “model regions for sustainable development” – areas which act as test sites for conservation and educational to teach communities how to live in harmony with their environment.(1)

Artificial Biospheres are dome-like structures which protect isolated areas, often built from steel, timber, glass, ETFE panels and even recycled plastic. The spheres shelter a specific area from infectious diseases and extreme weather conditions.

Video Credit: The B1M 



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