OVERNIGHT winds and bad weather has caused 'total destruction' of the Isle of Wight Zoo's planned Christmas Market today.

The event has now been cancelled, despite the best efforts of staff who have been attempting to clear the site all morning.

A statement from the zoo's Wildheart Trust said: "We are absolutely devastated to have to cancel our Christmas Market today due to the total destruction of the beautiful stalls which were set up yesterday ready for today.

Isle of Wight County Press:

"The winds whipped up overnight and our little sanctuary took a real beating.

"The animal team and stallholders have been in since first thing clearing up the site so we can safely open but we have no choice but to cancel the market today.

"Santa’s grotto, which is located in the old fort, will be open.

"Any purchased tickets for the Christmas market will be honoured tomorrow when the stalls will be re-installed."

Anyone who purchased tickets, and has any questions, should email enquiries@isleofwightzoo.com

Lawrence Bates, chief operating officer, said: "It’s not often I admit defeat but today, nature won! The Wildheart team and the local community have worked so hard to roll out this event which we hoped would add some much needed cheer before Christmas, as well as helping to fund our animals through the wintery days to come.

"We are so sorry to have to cancel today’s market but hope to see you tomorrow instead. Love from the wind-blown Wildheart team."