Dozens of seasonal staff working for the company behind two of the Isle of Wight's biggest attractions have been let go, the County Press can reveal, following news Robin Hill is to close earlier than usual this year.

Vectis Ventures, which runs the country park, is blaming weather and the economy for a 'challenging summer'.

It has resulted in 36 employees, all on zero hour contacts, being given their notice.

It's understood that retail staff at Blackgang Chine are among those affected.

Read more: Isle of Wight's Robin Hill closing early this summer

The County Press has been told employees, some of whom were returning staff members having worked for the attractions over previous summers, were "shocked" and "very upset" to hear the news.

It's thought some workers from Robin Hill will now be based at Blackgang.

A spokesperson for Vectis Ventures said: "As with previous years, all of those staff would have had a break in their working period between now and October half term as the park quietens down – historically, Robin Hill has always closed during this period.

"Therefore, the only real change is that these staff will not be coming back to work the week of the October half term."

No permanent staff have been made redundant, Vectis Ventures has confirmed.

Alec Dabell, owner of the company, said the season has been a challenging one due to the economy and the weather.

The impact of the "less than ideal summer" is likely to be felt at other, outdoor attractions on the Island, too, Will Myles, MD at Visit Isle of Wight, told the County Press.

He said: "Businesses will be looking at visitor figures from last year and also like-for-like comparisons to 2019 and will make the decisions that they feel are necessary to ensure that they operate in what is a difficult climate - both meteorologically and financially."

Robin Hill is to close on Sunday (10) and will not reopen until December 20, when its Polar event returns.

The park's Fiesta of the Dead event, held in October, has been moved to Blackgang.

Those with tickets for a date when the site is now closed, have had their them transferred to Blackgang Chine.

A spokesperson added: "The management team at Robin Hill remain in place, and will be working hard to support the build and operations of Fiesta of the Dead at Blackgang Chine."

Robin Hill frequent visitor pass (FVP) holders can use them at Blackgang Chine for the rest of the season, instead.

Those who have a FVP for both sites are able to get £10 credit added to their pass.

Customers are being told to email by October 23.