The programme for the county’s fourth annual Nature Festival has been released today [Thursday 14 April], featuring events ranging from snorkelling and a poetry workshop to a wildlife cruise on NorthLink’s Hamnavoe.
The packed schedule of activities takes place between Monday 16 and Sunday 22 May. The full programme is available online at www.orkneynaturefestival.org, or in hard copy from the RSPB Scotland office in Stromness or the Kirkwall Tourist Information Centre. Bookings are set to open on Monday 18 April at 11 am.
Alison Nimmo, RSPB Scotland’s Community Engagement Officer coordinating the festival, said, “Orkney is an amazing place for wildlife, and the Nature Festival is a chance to make the most of that. Thanks to a great range of partners running events there are all kinds of ways to get involved, whether it’s exploring another island or perhaps seeing somewhere familiar through new eyes – like joining in with a citizen science study of how the tides influence birds diving off Ness Point.”
The Nature Festival is collaborative project organised by the local RSPB Scotland team on behalf of partners around Orkney, including businesses, community groups and individual volunteers.
Events this year culminate in a wildlife cruise circumnavigating Hoy on NorthLink’s Hamnavoe on Sunday 22 May. Stuart Garrett, Managing Director, said, “We’re excited to be involved in the Nature Festival again this year. Our cruise is a one-off chance to travel the full length of Hoy’s spectacular cliffs, with seabirds all around and sustainable Orkney produce to enjoy on board. Fingers will be crossed for some orcas too!”
Other highlights include trips to Sanday and Papa Westray, a wildlife film screening at the Pickaquoy Centre and a children’s nature writing workshop, alongside a variety of walks and other wildlife-watching opportunities.