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WATCH: North-east marine festival launches online events

By Kyle Ritchie

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DolphinFest has launched with a variety of online events to celebrate the marine environment in the north-east.

Running until April 11 activities will include family storytime and quizzes to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.

The festival, described as a celebration of the amazing marine wildlife around north-east Scotland and aiming to encourage people to help protect it, has moved online this year with all content remaining available until the end of April.

Organisers hope this will mean even more people can take part, from homes across the country and around the world.

DolphinFest has launched with a series of marine-themed online events.
DolphinFest has launched with a series of marine-themed online events.

Supported by EventScotland as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 – where the country continues to celebrate its coasts and waters with a programme of activities and events which will shine a spotlight on these elements of the landscape – along with organisations and individuals, DolphinFest 2021 will also mark the end of RSPB Scotland’s popular Dolphinwatch project, which has seen thousands of people visit Torry Battery since 2013 to see the bottlenose dolphins regularly spotted there along with school visits and community events.

VisitScotland’s regional director for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray Speyside Jo Robinson said: “We are delighted to be supporting DolphinFest as part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21.

"The coastline of Aberdeen and the north-east offers excellent opportunities for wildlife watching and this year's festival will give people the chance to enjoy online events and learn more about protecting our natural environment.”

A series of events are taking place daily, with lunch time storytime sessions hosted by TV Presenter Rory Crawford; action talks and live question and answer sessions by a number of organisations showcasing their work and ways people can get involved; and recorded wildlife tours to inspire people to get out and enjoy their local environment.

Throughout the festival people will also be encouraged to take action to protect the marine environment by making pledges and taking part in the Big Blue Clean Up event, with Turning the Plastic Tide offering their top tips for safe litter picking.

A marine mystery game by The Locked Door will be available all week and post festival, while a live young conservationists webinar with speakers takes place on Thursday, April 8.

The festival also sees the return of the popular Big Noise Torry’s Dolphin Orchestra with a brand new marine inspired showpiece.

Thomas, founder of The Rubbish Club and one of the young conservationists speaking, said: “DolphinFest looks to be a great fun event for the holidays, I am excited to be part of it with The Rubbish Club again this year.”

The final day of the festival includes a "pub" quiz by Edinburgh based company Goose’s Quizzes and a sneak peek at the all-new Greyhope Stories – a web-based educational and storytelling platform by Greyhope Bay.

The festival will then conclude with a celebratory video looking back at the nine years of Dolphinwatch, with interviews sharing people’s favourite memories and moments about the project.

RSPB Scotland’s community engagement officer Sadie Gorvett, who has managed the Dolphinwatch Project for the past few years, said: “I want to thank EventScotland once again for giving us this opportunity to run DolphinFest this year.

"I am excited to see how people respond to it going online. We’ve all been through so much this past year, I hope the festival is something people are excited to get involved in and that will encourage people to enjoy their local areas and get involved in protecting the marine environment.

"DolphinFest does mark the end of Dolphinwatch, which has been an absolute joy to work on for the past three years, but there will be more marine themed fun from us and others, so watch this space.”

A video promoting the event can be seen below:

The full programme is available to download at rspb.org.uk/dolphinwatch and to attend the festival people need to register at rspb.eventsair.com/dolphin-fest/reg-form/Site/Register

Tickets for Treasure Quest can be purchased from thelockeddoor.co.uk

Dolphinwatch is a project led by RSPB Scotland in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Whale and Dolphin Conservation. It comprises Dolphinwatch viewing, schools, and DolphinFest.

Dolphinwatch is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters – celebrating the water that makes the country’s landscape so special and loved.

For more information visit facebook.com/RSPBNorthEastScotland

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