Plans for Aberdeen’s first DolphinFest unveiled

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The programme has been launched for Aberdeen’s first ever dolphin festival.

Dubbed DolphinFest, the event has been developed on the back of the annual Dolphinwatch project, which takes place at Torry Battery and is now in its seventh year.

The four-day event, which will take place in four locations around Aberdeen, launching on Thursday April 25, with a talk by wildlife cameraman and photographer Doug Allan.

This will be followed by a Science Day at Aberdeen University’s Zoology Museum on Friday April 26 and a Family Fun Day at Duthie Park on Saturday April 27.

The festival ends with a day of action on Sunday April 28 at Torry Battery, with activities to help people get closer to marine wildlife, including guided walks, rockpooling and a beach clean.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue at the event will also showcase how they help stranded marine animals.

Sadie Gorvett, RSPB Scotland’s Dolphinwatch community events Officer, who is organising the festival, said: “I am very excited and honoured to have organised the very first dolphin festival in Aberdeen.

“We live in an amazing part of the world where we can see bottlenose dolphins in the middle of a city.

“I hope DolphinFest will showcase the incredible opportunity to view and help protect bottlenose dolphins and the marine environment locally.

“I am excited to announce the full programme of events and hope it encourages even more people to get out and enjoy the wildlife right on their doorstep, because we are privileged to have it.”

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Throughout the festival, Dolphinwatch viewing will take place at Torry Battery, with staff and volunteers there each day from 11am to 5pm, to help visitors spot and learn more about the bottlenose dolphins that call the North Sea their home.

John Wheeler, Aberdeen City Council’s operational delivery committee, said: “Dolphinwatch has been going from strength to strength since it started so it’s fantastic the RSPB has added a festival to the event this year.

“We are extremely lucky in Aberdeen to be able to watch these beautiful mammals so close to the shore – to be able to spot them so near to the city is something quite unique in the UK, if not in Europe.

“We look forward to welcoming even more residents and visitors to our beautiful city to come and watch and learn about dolphins in their natural habitat.”

Katie Dyke, policy officer for Whale and Dolphin Conservation, said: “We are excited to be a part of this event. We have worked with Dolphinwatch at Torry for the last seven years and are very happy to join the celebration of these amazing creatures.

“As part of the event, Whale and Dolphin Conservation will give a talk on the Friday, encourage visitors to play our interactive and hilarious dolphin games at the family fun day and run surveys (Shorewatches) from Torry over the weekend.

“A Shorewatch is a survey which is done by our dedicated volunteers regularly throughout the year.

“The information collected from these surveys show us important areas for whales and dolphins so we can protect them from threats.”

Anyone interested in volunteering with the festival should get in touch by emailing or calling 01224 624824.