Whale and dolphin trust marks 20th anniversary
THIS year marks the 20th anniversary of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) occupying 28 Main Street, Tobermory.
During this time, the space has changed significantly - from a bakery to office spaces, from grassroots interpretation to an interactive centre, championing the conservation of whales and dolphins.
The centre is now an integral part of the Main Street landscape and offers not only a fantastic experience for visiting tourists, but also an opportunity for interested locals to connect with regular events.
The centre has certainly come a long way, and is proud - in its 20th year - to offer a whole host of events and activities for the local community, from after-school clubs throughout the winter, to the up and coming evening science talks which start on May 18.
The evening lectures are a great chance to learn about the wildlife of Mull every Thursday throughout the summer, as there are new guest speakers each week.
Daily activities such as the whale watch workshops and exciting ‘bones box are’ a great way for families to bond and learn about the amazing whales, dolphins and porpoises that live on our doorstep. It is the perfect activity to set you up for an adventure in the great outdoors.
HWDT has been advancing the understanding of local whale, dolphin and porpoise populations for nearly 25 years. The trust collects visual and acoustic data from aboard our research vessel Silurian, surveying the length and breadth of the Hebrides during monitoring expeditions lasting seven to 12 days.
HWDT is not a campaigning organisation, but analyses data and disseminates the results to the wider public. HWDT encourages members of the public to report their sightings, contributing to the baseline data now held on cetacean occurrence in the area.
If you spot a whale, dolphin, porpoise or basking shark, please report it to the trust, either online at hwdt.org or by popping into the centre.
Another core activity is outreach and engagement - encouraging stewardship of the local environment and providing opportunities for children and adults to learn and develop their skills.
During two weeks of the field season, Silurian becomes a floating classroom and welcomes aboard school children to participate in a range of fun activities.
This month, the trust is visiting island schools on Skye. Classroom visits are also undertaken, with the centre’s engagement team visiting locations all over the West Coast.
The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Centre is the perfect place to find out more. There are interactive displays, information about the different species seen and news of what HWDT has learned about the specific populations.
Go along to join in on the evening science talks, summer youth clubs and more. From the start of April, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Centre will be open seven days a week from 10.30am– 4.30pm. Entry into both the centre and evening events is on a donation basis. Details of the events planned for the season will be made available through HWDT.org, social media and posters displayed on the island.
The Hebridean Whale Dolphin Trust has a full programme of events planned for the coming season.