One vision of how great Sandown could become

Cllr Andre shares her vision of what Sandown could become – sensitively developed into a world-class attraction – if some imagination were applied

Inside Eden Dome

Sandown North, Cllr Debbie Andre, is keen is to establish an Eden Project Community at the area around Dinosaur Isle and Brown’s in Sandown. she shares here vision here, in her own words. Ed

I believe that we now have a genuine opportunity to bring Dinosaur Isle, Brown’s and the Isle of Wight Zoo into a combined scheme of an Eden Project Community.

We need to think of the area as a whole and how we can sensitively develop the project into a world class attraction, promoting both our proud heritage whilst protecting the natural environment.

More than a traditional idea of a Biome
Coming out of the pandemic gives us an opportunity to take a different approach. An Eden Project community would be so much more than just the traditional idea of a Biome enclosing tropical rainforests and exotic plants.

I see the potential for an area where we could host a craft market and give the opportunity for local start-ups to trade.

Involved schools and community groups
We could also involve groups such as our fabulous Sandown Green Town Volunteers and encourage our community groups to get involved in the various projects.

There’s also a huge potential for involving our local schools. Brown’s could be regenerated as a Community Hub.

The Zoo could also be an integral part of this project in promoting wildlife conservation in which, through their Wildheart Trust, they have already done some tremendous work.

Bringing communities closer to our environment
In order to preserve our Biosphere status, we need to evidence that we promote the connection between our communities and the environment.

The project that I am proposing would tick all of those boxes. I have contacted the Eden Project in Cornwall to discuss how we put this into practice and make this a reality once we can all come together properly again as a community.

Councils need to be on board
However, in order for such a project to be successful we need community engagement and a positive working relationship with both Sandown Town Council and the IOW Council.

We already have some very active and energetic members of our community that have shown support for this project and I believe that, post-Covid, we can all come together as a team to make this happen.

Get in touch
If anyone is interested in being a part of this exciting project, they are urged to contact Debbie directly by email: [email protected]

Image: Richard Szwejkowski under CC BY 2.0

Opinion Piece

Sunday, 17th January, 2021 6:28pm



Filed under: Isle of Wight Opinion Pieces, Sandown, Top story, Yaverland

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11 Comments on "One vision of how great Sandown could become"

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Mark L Francis

Get Sandown Council to co-operate – good luck with that one.
Last I heard, they couldn’t even co operate with themselves.

Angela Hewitt
I do think parish and Town councils should be abolished as old hat. And replaced with a new radical system. Maybe a Mini Mayor who is paid to enable the individual communities to do what they want to do. Devolve bureaucracy to the individual community groups. Each Community group will have its own valid mission. The Mini Mayor will ensure they get what they want whilst bringing… Read more »

This sounds exactly what Sandown needs.
It will be difficult to secure funding in the current climate. But the government talks of the “Brexit dividend”, and to “Build Back Better”.
Sandown needs to develop a compelling, imaginative plan, get as many stakeholders as possible on board and then present it well.

You forget the amazing initiatives taken in recent years by Arc/Artecology/The Common Space to make Sandown a hub of scientific, wildlife and artistic activity. There’s Hullabaloo, the arts and science festival and carnival, attracting exhibitors from near and far, including the Natural History Museum in London. There’s Discovery Bay, a day’s events at Dinosaur Isle and the surrounding area, helping people, especially children and their families, to… Read more »
Angela Hewitt

I agree Tamara, and the fact that it will be community led with new 21st century initiatives will increase tourism and generate better experience for families holidaying in Sandown. Doughnut Economics here we come


Good luck Sandown, still waiting for something previously promised over 10 years ago to happen in my area of Island. Looking at the Eden project you need an area that will be based in the bottom of a three sided valley for protection from the more serious weather elements that have previously damaged Sandown seafront area especially.


There must be an election coming up!
An ineffective Ward Councillor for 4 years.
An equally ineffective Sandown Town Councillor for 4 years.
Where is the money coming from?
It wasn’t so long ago you were thwarting the efforts of those trying to save the fish from dying in Sandown canoe lake.
A great example of being elected on false promises and a glossy leaflet.


She’s not a Tory. How can she be that bad? 🤷‍♂️


Err….. We are talking about Sandown , Isle of Wight? The Islands downtrodden Town where you watch ‘Tumbleweed’ rolling down the winter deserted streets. Nah can’t be.


So why did Premier Inn build in Sandown? Could it be that they know something we don’t know about the future prospect of the town?


Could this be the same councillor,who during the canoe lake problems,said she was working hard ‘behind the scenes’to resolve it?
So far behind the scenes,no one saw her….