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Puffin Fest flies back to the Scottish Seabird Centre

Roosting Puffin Credit: Scottish Seabird Centre

Roosting Puffin Credit: Scottish Seabird Centre

Conservation and education charity, the Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick, announces the return of their most popular event of the year – Puffin Fest.

From 15 to 25 May, the award-winning visitor attraction will host a ten-day celebration for one of the country’s favourite seabirds; the puffin. Puffin Fest will feature a programme of family-friendly and environmentally-focused activities, aimed at inspiring locals and visitors alike to learn more about the ‘clowns of the sea’, while also highlighting the importance of conserving and protecting Scotland’s seabirds for future generations.

The programme features a range of activities, including photographic workshops with award-winning photographer Tom Langlands; Puffin Parties with Forth 1; Puffin Express boat trips; creative sessions with the Edinburgh Sketcher and artist Mandy Thomson; guided walks with East Lothian Council Ranger Service; plus the chance to zoom in on the live puffin action on the Firth of Forth islands with the interactive live cameras in the Discovery Centre.

This is the second year Puffin Fest has run and 2015 is extra special as the Seabird Centre also celebrates its 15th birthday in May. BBC TV and radio presenter, and wildlife expert, Euan McIlwraith will be at the Centre on the launch day (15 May) to officially launch the festival and help visitors celebrate the Centre’s birthday in style.

Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “Puffins are one of the world’s most recognisable and best-loved seabirds, and the Firth of Forth islands are home to tens of thousands of puffins from April to early August.

“Puffin Fest is not only a fun way to mark their seasonal homecoming to Scotland, but also an opportunity to inform people of the issues and challenges that puffins face, and the actions we all can take to make a difference.

“We are also working in partnership with the local community, encouraging visitors to spend time in the town with their Puffin Passport, where puffin stamps mean prizes!”

Euan McIlwraith said “I’m really looking forward to helping the Seabird Centre launch Puffin Fest and mark their 15th birthday. As a conservation and education charity, it’s fantastic to see them communicating important environmental and conservation messages in a fun and engaging way. I hope lots of people take the opportunity to join in the Puffin Fest fun.”

Some of the highlights of this year’s programme include:

  • Wildlife Photography Workshop for Beginners with award-winning photographer Tom Langlands on 16, 23 and 24 May
  • Learn the art of Speed Sketching with the Edinburgh Sketcher on 21 May
  • Thirty-minute Puffin Express boat trips throughout Puffin Fest
  • Puffin Scoping Walk on the Wild Side with  East Lothian Council Ranger Service, where Ranger Dave Wild will take visitors on a ramble along the rocky shore on 16 May
  • Join the Puffin Parties with Forth 1 with Arlene Stuart and Mark Martin, plus Professor Egghead and Tammie the Puffin, for a puffaganza of crafts, magical science, fun and jokes on 16 and 23 May
  • Professor Egghead  and the Alien Invasion explores the invasive plant tree mallow that blocks puffin burrows on 15, 17, 22, 24 and 25 May
  • Tickles the Clown’s Puffin Puffaganza brings a fun mix of comedy, magic tricks, games and gaffs on 16, 17, 23 and 24 May
  • Percy the Puffin’s Homecoming Adventure is an interactive puppet show on 16, 17, 22 and 24 May
  • Hop on board the Wild About Scotland bus with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland on 21 May
  • Join Tammie the Puffin for a 15th birthday picnic on 21 May
  • Mini exhibitions on: A Day in the Life of a Puffin; Puffins on Holiday; and SOS Puffin
  • Visitors can also pick up a Puffin Passport and tour North Berwick to win prizes.

Events at Puffin Fest are included with admission, except from the Wildlife Photography Workshop for Beginners (£65 per day) and the Puffin Express boat trips (adults £10/ children £5/ under 3 free). Admission to the Discovery Centre is £8.95 for adults and £4.95 for children/ under 3 free. For the full programme visit www.seabird.org

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