24th May 2019
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Youngsters set for exciting week as marine wildlife show tours isles

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A marine wildlife roadshow is set to wow Shetland audiences next week with inflatable whales and dolphins.

Youngsters will be able to explore the lifesize sea mammals at the shows.

Lovers of whales, dolphins, seals and all marine life will get an unusual treat when Andy Peters of Whale Workshop brings a pod of inflatable sea creatures to the isles for a week of shows in schools and public halls.

After over 20 years visiting more than a thousand schools, exhibitions and festivals throughout the UK, Europe and beyond, Mr Peters is bringing his educational show to Shetland for the first time in two decades.

The Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary has organised a tour of Shetland schools, starting at Sandwick on Monday and ending in Lerwick on Friday, aiming to reach as many primary and secondary pupils as possible.

Focusing on the marine environment, its wildlife and the challenges it faces, a major theme of the Shetland tour will be marine litter and plastic pollution using “hands on engaging activities to raise awareness and generate respect” for the seas on which our lives depend.

There will be events for the wider public on Saturday 11th May at Lerwick’s Gilbertson Park Games Hall, and on Sunday 12th May at Hillswick Public Hall.

Pete Bevington of the Hillswick sanctuary said: “We met Andy last year and were blown away by his life-size and lifelike marine animals and thought how good it would be for Shetland to see them.

“Andy and his amazing inflatable animals were already coming to Aberdeen for its Dolphin Festival at the end of April, and we knew it would be crazy to miss the opportunity to bring him one step further north.”

From Monday to Thursday the Marine Wildlife Roadshow will visit the junior high schools in Sandwick, Brae, Aith, Baltasound and Mid Yell, with all the nearby primary schools invited to attend.

Mr Bevington added: “On Friday we’ll be at Gilbertson Park Games Hall for the primary kids in Lerwick, Scalloway, Tingwall and Hamnavoe, though sadly we won’t be able to accommodate the secondary students at the Anderson High as well.

“However we will be staying at Gilbertson Park on Saturday for children to bring their parents or anyone else along, and then on Sunday we’ll be all day at Hillswick Public Hall. It’s going to be a lot of fun and we’re really looking forward to it.”

The public events in Lerwick and Hillswick will run from 11am until 5pm.

The Marine Wildlife Roadshow has been made possible by the generosity of a wide range of businesess and organisations, including the national ocean charity SeaChangers.

Local sponsors include ferry operators NorthLink, oil industry environment group Soteag, the Shetland Bird Club, Northmaven and Lerwick Community Councils and salmon companies Grieg Seafood, Scottish Sea Farms and Cooke Aquaculture.

Mr Bevington added: “We could not have gone ahead with this exciting venture without the support of these organisations, so we are very grateful for them helping us bring Andy north to Shetland.”

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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