MarineFest to showcase Scotland’s seas and celebrate World Ocean Day
With June marking the official start of the meteorological summer, it’s a great time to hit the seaside and celebrate all things marine.
And if you’re looking for entertainment, there’s plenty on offer at a special festival on Scotland’s east coast that kicks off on World Ocean Day.
MarineFest, now in its third year, will run from June 8 to 12 at the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick, East Lothian.
A packed programme of events will bring together chefs, artists, writers, DJs, puppeteers, scientists, environmentalists and more to celebrate the country’s globally important marine wildlife and habitats. Highlights include a pop-up paella evening, a guided snorkelling adventure, wildlife talks and even beach cleans.
TV presenter, wildlife expert and diver Miranda Krestovnikoff will launch the five-day festival with an ‘in-conversation’ evening where she shares the experiences that have brought her closer to nature – and all guests will be treated to a complimentary glass of wine, courtesy of anti-plastic winemakers Sea Change.
Other highlights include sessions with writers Vicky Allan and Anna Deacon, who will discuss their passion for wild swimming, and marine biologist Caitlin Turner, talking about her role as a youth ambassador for the UN’s World Ocean Day.
Author and sketcher Sandy Winterbottom, who quit her previous career as an environmental scientist following a life-changing trip to old whaling stations in South Georgia and the Antarctic in 2016, is also appearing.
If all of that is giving you an appetite, join chef and environmental campaigner Grant Reekie for an eco-friendly seafood supper and a talk about low-impact fishing from the team at marine sustainability charity Open Seas.
Attendees will get the chance to sample a mouth-watering four-course meal, with barbecued oysters, shellfish cullen skink, mackerel with seaweed and potatoes, and ice-cream with sea buckthorn on the menu. Those with artistic ambitions can sign up for the Drawing at Sea workshop with Chris Wallbank.
Lessons will explore the challenges of drawing wildlife, providing tips on anatomy and strategies for sketching unpredictable and moving subjects.
Youngsters will also be spoilt for choice, with rockpool sessions, live science shows and messy play on offer.
Krestovnikoff, who will give the keynote speech at the opening of the festival, said: “I’m delighted to be heading to the beautiful coastal town of North Berwick on World Ocean Day to talk about the importance of our seas and the incredible wildlife and habitats they support.
“Marine Fest is a great chance to consider our seas, why we love them and what we can do to protect and care for them. I’ll be sharing some of my first-hand experiences as someone who loves diving, and I’m looking forward to hearing views and thoughts from the audience.”
“Whilst the festival allows us to celebrate Scotland’s incredible marine wildlife and habitats, it’s also an opportunity to have fun with family and friends whilst learning something new about Scotland’s seabirds and marine wildlife.
“We hope everyone will be inspired to think about the ethical choices they can make and to commit to doing something positive for nature.”
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