Manx Wildlife Trust calls out for votes to make Port Erin Festival of the Sea a Reality

Tuesday 17th January 2017

Touch Tank Specimens © Pauline Spicer

Manx Wildlife Trust is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative to bring the Port Erin Festival of the Sea to life in 2017 – the much-needed relaunch of what was the Queenie Festival.

The supermarket has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative, which see grants of £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.
Three groups in each of Tesco’s 416 regions have been shortlisted to receive the cash award.

And this month shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Manx Wildlife Trust is one of the groups on the shortlist, and thanks to teaming up with the Port Erin Beach Festival, will be engaging people and families with their touch tanks, displays and activities to explore our marine heritage and environment in an amazing interactive way.

The Festival has been going for a long time but unfortunately had to be cancelled in 2016. Thanks to MWT, its partners such as Discover Diving in Port St. Mary, and the team at Port Erin Beach Festival, the Island will not be missing out in 2017. Take note – the weekend is the 22nd and 23rd July 2017.

Lara Howe, MWT Marine Officer says “Festival of the Sea, previously known as Queenie Festival, is a celebration of all things marine and a great way to engage with the public and showcase the amazing marine life that can be seen in Manx waters via our touch tanks. It’s a great weekend for MWT and we are so grateful to everyone who helps out and makes it possible, we have an amazing group of volunteers” 

Work is underway to plan for the new Festival which in the past has seen more than 4,000 people through the touch tanks and can only benefit from the crowds that were seen at the Port Erin Beach Festival last summer. Together we’ll really be creating a fun weekend and showcasing so much that people often don’t realise about our marine environment and the work that goes on.

Voting opened in stores from 2nd - 28th January. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

"Your votes will really help us make this Festival a reality and the national event it deserves to be” said Tim Graham, CEO of Manx Wildlife Trust, “watch this space for more details in the near future and I’m sure we’ll see you there!"

For more details on Manx Wildlife Trust's involvement with the Port Erin Festival of the Sea, contact Marine Officer, Lara Howe at

About Tesco Bags of Help

  • 1,248 organisations from Tesco’s 416 regions up and down the UK will receive a share of the Bags of Help fund.
  • The initiative is supported by money from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags
  • More than 2,800 groups up and down the country applied for grants from the scheme. These were whittled down to three in each of Tesco’s regions
  • For more information please visit:

Tagged with: Events & Shows, Events, Festival of the Sea, Funding, Living Seas, Marine