Durrell celebrates 50 years in India with a dazzling night to remember

Saturday evening saw the Royal Jersey Showground transformed and over 400 guests were immersed in the exotic sights and sounds of India. The Investec Jewels of Assam ball was organised by Durrell to celebrate the charity’s five decades of work in India and raised £181,858 for their work to rewild the grasslands of Assam, which is home to species such as elephants, tigers, rhinos and the tiny and incredibly rare pygmy hog.

Commenting on the evening, Dr Lesley Dickie, Chief Executive of Durrell said:

“The Jewels of Assam Ball was a truly spectacular evening that shone a light on our work in India which began in the 1970s. We wanted to celebrate the work of our dedicated team in Assam who work tirelessly to save the tiny and elusive pygmy hog, along with its precious grassland habitat. However, our work not only benefits other species but the rural communities that rely on the grasslands. Over the past two years India has faced huge challenges and our work protecting this beautiful ecosystem and supporting the people that live there is more important than ever.

 I would like to thank the companies and individuals that made the event possible, our wonderful guests for attending and celebrating with us, and Investec for their generous support and committed enthusiasm for our cause.”

 The evening was hosted by the indomitable Charles Hanson, who raised over £1,000,000 at the Go Wild Gorillas auction in 2019 and captivated guests at the ball with his infamous flare. An unforgettable Bollywood dance display from London based Bolly Flex kicked off the evening with an injection of far-flung exotism. The evening came to a climax when Irish singer/songwriter and former member of multi-platinum selling boyband Boyzone, Ronan Keating took the stage.

Commenting on Investec’s sponsorship of the evening, Andy Smith said:

“Investec has long been a supporter of Durrell and their vital conservation work globally. We have been privileged to have had hands on experience with the animals at Jersey Zoo and seen first-hand how important it is for the future of the planet. Congratulations to Durrell for organising a wonderful evening of entertainment on a spectacular scale. It has been a pleasure to sponsor this event and we trust the funds raised here will continue the work to protect endangered species and the diversity of the world we live in.”

The Royal Jersey Showground was transformed by the teams at Delta, Marquee Solutions, Wild Thyme, and Dina Bouchere, bringing to life Durrell’s work rewilding the grasslands of Assam and their vision of a wilder, healthier, more colourful world.