Somerset's Tourism Association welcomes new ambassador - Simon King

Visit Somerset are delighted to announce the inclusion of another famous Somerset face to represent the county as an ambassador.

Naturalist and broadcaster, Simon King OBE, is familiar to millions as a presenter of BBC series such as Big Cat Diary and Springwatch, whilst his camerawork has been an integral part of landmark series such as Planet Earth, Life and Blue Planet.  King has taken up the post to lend support to Visit Somerset’s mission to conserve and develop the county’s natural beauty and heritage for generations to come.

“I’m delighted to have been asked to help represent the magic of the county that is my home and in particular to help celebrate the astonishing natural riches that typify this part of the world” said King. “In particular, I am thrilled that Visit Somerset will be making the natural environment such an important part of their agenda, with support from the Somerset Wildlife Trust and other conservation bodies.  Their collaboration will ensure Somerset’s marvelous wildlife and varied habitats are a key feature for visitors to the county”.

Simon’s website, Wildlife Whisperer (www.wildlifewhisperer.tv) will be working alongside ‘Visit Somerset’ to help visitors to the county find the best of the wild world. The ‘Wild Places’ map on Wildlife Whisperer will guide visitors to the best reserves, wildlife attractions, hotels and places to stay in the county, and the world over.  This is alongside a wealth of free to view films, live cameras that watch wildlife spectacles, blogs, news and wildlife watching products.

‘Visit Somerset’ has big aspirations in terms of supporting and protecting Somerset’s natural heritage and this is a major step forward for us” says John Turner, director in charge of international development. Turner went onto say; ‘Somerset is already known for its natural beauty and having Simon on board to endorse this nationally and internationally is a great privilege’.  Simon will be supported by a great line up of ambassadors that include; Duncan Bannatyne, and Martin Roberts from BBC ‘Homes Under the Hammer’, together with Michael Eavis as the associations patron.

Bob Smart Vice Chairman enthused that " this was another great triumph for Somerset in being recognized as a county of such significant importance and having the likes of Simon in an ambassadorial role will really help and provide encouragement for all those visiting Somerset, all the Directors are unanimous in thanking Simon for coming on board.  “Visit Somerset’ is really looking forward to working with Simon.”   

Rupert Cox, CEO of Somerset 3D, the county's inward investment agency said of the appointment. "We are very pleased with the appointment of Simon as a Somerset tourism ambassador.  Somerset 3D recognises that there are many business-related reasons why a company would consider relocating to Somerset, but we don't under-estimate the value of the natural environment and tourism in that mix, which is why Somerset 3D and Visit Somerset are working in ever-closer collaboration."

Simon was awarded the OBE in 2010 for contributions to conservation and wildlife photography.  Among the charities he supports as patron is Secret World Wildlife Rescue in Somerset and he hopes that his new role as ambassador for Visit Somerset will help to raise awareness for this remarkable charity.  Their work to care for wild creatures that are down on your luck has been helping the wildlife of the south west for decades and Visit Somerset will be offering a platform to inform people about the projects, open days and fund raising initiatives of the initiative.  The charity is already featured as part of the Somerset explorer package which is a group booking based project launched recently with ‘First solutions’ and Visit Somerset and can be found at the URL address;   www.visitsomerset.co.uk/special-offers/somerset-explorer.