Wildlife and walking festival is launched

A group of organisers for this year's Energetica Walking and Wildlife Festival launch gather for a stroll along Newburgh Beach
A group of organisers for this year's Energetica Walking and Wildlife Festival launch gather for a stroll along Newburgh Beach

A two-day festival combining stunning coastal scenery with wildlife has launched for a second year.

The Energetica Walking and Wildlife Festival, which runs on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 May is set to host even more events after the success of last year’s event.

Seals on Newburgh Beach

Seals on Newburgh Beach

Organisers including North-east Rangers, RSPB Scotland, SNH and wildlife conservationists gathered for the public launch of the festival at Newburgh beach last Thursday.

Ian Hay of the East Grampian Coastal Partnership was also at the launch offering a taster of the event’s wildlife photography workshop.

Locals and visitors can take part in activities ranging from guided walks, dolphin watching to pond dipping, puffin spotting and wildlife photography lessons during the outdoor festival.

Meanwhile, the family-friendly festival offers visitors the chance to enjoy the beautiful outdoors as well as events which are guaranteed to appeal to animal lovers.

The Big North East Pond Dip at Aberdeen Biodiversity Centre as well as a hunt for Amazing Minibeasts at Pitmedden Estate are just a handful of the activities on offer.

The two-day festival includes 20 events are all led by experts, and most are free.

As part of the celebrations, visitors will also enjoy a 10% discount on food and drink being offered by local venues.

The Energetica Walking and Wildlife Guide booklet has been released in conjunction with the festival and showcases many of the walking opportunities available along the Energetica corridor.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Economic Development, and Energetica Lifestyle and Leisure Group Chair, Belinda Miller, said: “Last year’s festival was a huge success, which saw most events fully booked and generated very positive feedback, and so we wanted to make this year’s event even bigger.”

Energetica Programme Executive, Derek McCrindle, said that there is an event suitable for everyone: “With such a wide range of events on offer, the festival is great for families, wildlife lovers, outdoor enthusiasts and for people who want to try something new. There really is something for everyone.”

RSPB Community Engagement Officer, Mairi Cowan, added: “The Dolphinwatch staff will be leading guided walks on and are anticipating that this year will be every bit as successful as last year’s walks.

“We are looking forward to showcasing the wildlife seen in and around the Aberdeen Harbour area and with any luck, will be joined along our way by a bottlenose dolphin or two!”

Most events are free, but places are limited and booking is essential. For the full programme, visit energetica.uk.com/festival2014.