Aberdeen’s DolphinFest launches today with a variety of online events to celebrate the marine environment
DolphinFest starts at 10 am today and runs until 11 April with a host of marine-themed online events, from family storytime to “pub” 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 even around the world.
Supported by EventScotland as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 – where Scotland continues to celebrate its coasts and waters with a programme of activities and events which will shine a spotlight on these vital elements of our landscape – along with organisations and individuals from across Scotland, 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.
Jo Robinson, VisitScotland’s Regional Director for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray Speyside, 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, take action talks and live Q&As by a number of organisations showcasing their incredible 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.
Treasure Quest, a marine mystery game by local Aberdeen company The Locked Door, will be available all week and post festival, while a live young conservationists webinar with inspiring young speakers takes place on Thursday 8 April. 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.
Sadie Gorvett, RSPB Scotland’s Community Engagement Officer, 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.”
The full programme is available to download below and at rspb.org.uk/dolphinwatch and to attend the festival people need to register at https://rspb.eventsair.com/dolphin-fest/reg-form/Site/Register. Tickets for Treasure Quest can be purchased from https://thelockeddoor.co.uk.
Dolphinwatch is a project led by RSPB Scotland in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC). It comprises Dolphinwatch viewing, schools, and DolphinFest. Dolphinwatch is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters – celebrating the water that makes the country’s landscape so special and loved.