Dolphinwatch makes a splash as it attracts record numbers

Torry Battery. RSPB Dolphin Watch. Dolphinwatch Officer Amy Hopley. 11th May 2017. Picture by KATH FLANNERY

A nature campaign has made its biggest splash yet after record numbers flocked to visit.

Dolphinwatch at Aberdeen’s Torry Battery saw almost 5,500 visits between April and August.

Now in its fifth year, RSPB Dolphinwatch had visitors watching the acrobatic behaviour of bottlenose dolphins and learning about marine wildlife.

Jen Wright, RSPB Scotland Dolphinwatch officer, said: “It has been an amazing season at Dolphinwatch, with so many enthusiastic visitors coming along to learn all about our bottlenose dolphins and the other incredible marine wildlife.

“We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed to making the project such a success.”

The project is run in partnership between RSPB Scotland, VisitAberdeenshire, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Harbour Board and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC).

Since its inception there have been nearly 20,000 visitors from more than 24 countries, and organisers said dolphins could be seen on 81% of the days.

Chris Foy, chief executive of VisitAberdeenshire, said: “The RSPB Dolphinwatch project has helped to contribute to the ongoing development of our rich coastal tourism by providing a key visitor experience in Aberdeen.

“It is fantastic visitors continue to enjoy and understand the importance of our marine wildlife, and it is a testament to the RSPB Dolphinwatch team that the project attracted a record number of visitors this year.”

Organisers have also said the project is helping Aberdeen gain a reputation as the dolphin city, with 30% of people asked saying Dolphinwatch was the main reason for visiting.

Chris Bain, external relations director for Aberdeen Harbour Board, said: “Our staff have always taken great pride in the fact that the port is home to such wonderful creatures and are happy thousands of people have now been able to view these animals so close to the heart of the city.”