Orkney Nature Festival programme announced

Kirsty Nutt

Thursday 13 April 2017

The Orkney Nature Festival is set to celebrate its fifth birthday in style this May, with a jam-packed programme of events released today featuring scuba diving, song writing, trips to Egilsay, Westray and Shapinsay, and a grand wildlife cruise up the West Mainland coast with NorthLink Ferries.

Activities take place between Monday 15 and Sunday 21 May. The full programme is available online at orkneynaturefestival.org, with hard copies available on request from the RSPB Scotland office (01856 850176). Bookings will open on Thursday 20 April at 11 am.

Alison Nimmo, coordinator for the Nature Festival partners and RSPB Scotland's Community Engagement Officer, said: "It's almost a surprise to look back and realise the Nature Festival is about to turn five. I hope we can make this year a celebration for those who worked so hard to get the Festival off the ground and for everyone who has run events and supported it along the way - and, as always, there's a great programme of activities for all those who continue to come along and enjoy exploring Orkney's wildlife together in new ways each year."

The Nature Festival is a collaborative project coordinated by the local RSPB Scotland team on behalf of partners around Orkney, including businesses, community groups and individual volunteers.

This year's programme sees long-term supporters such as the Orkney Field Club and the RSPB Local Group joined by some new faces, including Shetland-based singer-songwriter Jenny Sturgeon, the John Rae Society and Orkney Pilgrimage, the group behind the new St Magnus Way.

In a fitting finale to the week, NorthLink Ferries is organising a wildlife cruise on MV Hamnavoe in support of both the Nature Festival and Stromness' Per Mare celebrations. Stuart Garrett, Managing Director at NorthLink Ferries, said: "We are looking forward to celebrating the Orkney Nature Festival once again this year."

"The wildlife cruise is a unique chance to enjoy the spectacular West Mainland coast from a different perspective. Passengers will be able to enjoy seeing caves and stacks along the rugged Yesnaby cliffs, the seabird colony at Marwick Head and much more whilst listening to live commentary and sampling local produce."

Photographs:

Images from the 2016 and 2015 Nature Festivals have been sent separately to support this story, but are also available via this link https://wetransfer.com/downloads/a7266eb4b1b78e5b460b3d0886dd5a1e20170410171851/9d50ed5c7f1588c2f22a866dc7ebb10a20170410171851/efc875

Editor's notes:

  1. The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

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