Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, Isle of Wight


2CL Communications are proud to support the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary in their important rescue and conservation work, with a special focus on tigers.

“The radios are intuitive and easy to use and allow for clear communication across the site and ensure the smooth running of our operation. I think everybody here agrees we get a first class service from 2CL.”Matthew Riches, Wildheart Animal Sanctuary


Wildheart Animal Sanctuary (previously the Isle of Wight Zoo) have been a valued customer of 2CL Communications since 2017. When they first approached 2CL they didn’t have a two-way radio system in place, making communicating across the large site difficult.

In April 2021 the sanctuary re-opened under new branding as the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, run by the Wildheart Trust.

The Wildheart Trust is a registered charity which is dedicated to realising its global ambitions to make a meaningful impact on the health of the natural world while actively improving the well-being of animals in human care. Trustees include wildlife presenter and Isle of Wight resident Chris Packham, along with several other local wildlife enthusiasts. The Trust runs the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary and provides governance for its conservation aims. Their mission is to inspire and empower people to take positive action to protect our planet and the animals we share it with.

2CL Communications were founded in 1972 and have been helping organisations across the UK with comprehensive communication solutions for almost 50 years.

As a local company, based in Eastleigh and with staff located all over Hampshire, we are pleased to be able to support a local charity in the fantastic work they do.


The Challenge

The Wildheart Sanctuary is located on a unique site, inside the former Sandown Fort on the coastline of Sandown, Isle of Wight, and has enclosures indoors and outside, so they have had some difficulty in the past getting comprehensive coverage without additional infrastructure.

Given the nature of the Zoo, the team always has to be prepared for unforeseen events; this means a critical requirement for instant, reliable communication.


The Solution

2CL’s experienced engineers visited the site and carried out a thorough site survey, identifying the sanctuary’s communication requirements and checking for any issues.

To combat the challenges of such a unique site, we installed a repeater as part of their system to increase their communication coverage. The system was set up and installed by 2CL engineers, providing each of the keepers with a Hytera PD405 two-way radio, allowing them to communicate at the push of a button.

The radios offer several different channels, enabling different user groups to talk amongst themselves as well as being able to call across all radios if required.


The Results

The popular tourist attraction has improved the overall operation of the site thanks to the strong and reliable Hytera digital radio system that 2CL installed. The new system assists the keepers with their day to day running of the site, enabling them to communicate seamlessly and securely.

When zookeepers move from one enclosure to another they communicate by radio as clear information is essential to maintain safety. The processes are clearly pre-defined so that safety procedures are consistently followed.

During busy times at the zoo, radios also play a part in raising alarms for any visitors with first aid issues, enabling clear routes for assistance, during any evacuation process and even with deliveries for the café and parking in the car park during busy periods.

Waterproofing works well on rainy days and when working around animals and water it makes sense to be covered.

With this system we have helped to ensure the health and safety of all staff and customers, and future-proofed their communications with a system that can be easily added to and upgraded.


“The Wildheart Animal Sanctuary is a relatively small site but actually more complex to manage than you might first imagine. Our team is very diverse and includes front of house staff, the catering team, our animal carers, maintenance teams, craftsmen, our volunteers and the head office team. Most of the roles at the sanctuary are not desk based so staff are spread throughout the site which means communication is crucial to allow our departments to stay connected and ensure the smooth running of our operation.

“Until 2CL approached us we did not function anywhere near as effectively as we do now. The beauty of their approach is that they managed to get to the heart of our complex problems and provide simple, effective solutions. The radios are intuitive and easy to use and allow for clear communication across the site and ensure the smooth running of our operation. The radio repeater has been particularly useful, increasing signal strength and greatly improving coverage. I think everybody here agrees we get a first class service from 2CL.” – Matthew Riches, Wildheart Animal Sanctuary