South West organisations switch off in support of WWF Earth Hour


New Wimbledon Theatre will turn off all non-essential lights tomorrow evening.


By Jack Skelton

The stars will shine brighter above London tomorrow as part of WWF Earth Hour, the annual event that sees cities worldwide switch off non-essential lights.

Famous landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye will go dark at 8.30pm, alongside homes and businesses. 

Organisations in the South West are also running events with a panda flashmob heading out from the South Bank to raise awareness about a range of environmental issues.

“Our 60 pandas will split up into groups and take selfies with passersby creating a buzz about the campaign before the turn off,” said South Bank Marketing and Press Officer Louise Nornes.

After meeting at Westminster Bridge at 11am to perform a dance routine the group will move onto Jubilee Gardens before their final performance outside the National Theatre.

There will be a series of events along the South Bank with restaurants offering candlelit dining and a performance by Sophie Ellis-Bextor at the South Bank Centre in the evening. 

Among the volunteers and WWF staff donning their panda suits is Luke Hudson, Deputy Theatre Manager at Apollo Victoria. 

“The main thing for me is getting children involved and making them aware of what is happening in the world,” he said. 

“This is an issue where if you can provide entertainment with the information, then you have a greater chance of getting the right message across,” added Mr Hudson.

Ambassador Theatre Group, the company that owns Apollo Victoria, has thrown their support behind the Earth Hour campaign, with all 40 of their venues taking part. 

The LED display on the front of Apollo Victoria and all other non-essential lights will be switched off during tomorrow night’s performance of Wicked.

New Wimbledon Theatre, another ATG holding, will do the same during An Evening of Burlesque to help draw attention to the need to reduce our impact on the environment.

“Our participation in WWF’s Earth Hour ‘s vital because it is a great way of raising awareness of environmental issues to our customers,” said ATG’s Joint CEO Rosemary Squire OBE.

The money raised from ATG’s efforts will go towards WWF’s conservation work in the Mara, Kenya that addresses human-wildlife conflict and provides equipment for local rangers. 

Shareen Brown, a spokesperson for WWF-UK, said: “Earth Hour is more than just an hour of darkness, it is a chance for people to come together and send a global message about the need to protect our planet.”

You can keep up with events worldwide by searching #EarthHour and #bebrilliant on Twitter and track the flashmob’s progress on #dancingpandas

 Photo courtesy of Coolm36, with thanks. 

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