Media Release: The 2015 Wild Lochaber Festival – a family voyage of discovery

Ian MacLeod Wild West-2

From Tai Chi and snorkel safaris to geological excursions and a family day on the Caledonian Canal, the Wild Lochaber Festival is a two-week, family-focused celebration of the wildlife, geology and wild places of the North-west Highlands

THE annual Wild Lochaber Festival, being staged throughout Fort William and Lochaber – ‘The Outdoor Capital of the UK’ – from Saturday 16 to Saturday 30 May 2015, showcases the fabulous wildlife and spectacular landscape to be found, from summit to sea, throughout the region.

The free and ticketed activities, aimed at all ages, include snorkel safaris at Lochaline Dive Centre, a night-time wildlife safari, Tai Chi Qi Gong on a beach on the Isle of Eigg, geosite explorations and geological excursions, introductions to sea kayaking, canal and sea cruises, a wildlife ‘Big 5’ safari (golden eagle, otters, red deer, red squirrel and seals), a seashore festival and a variety of guided walks.

The packed two-week festival programme embraces and celebrates the environment that can be experienced in this beautiful part of the West Highlands of Scotland, all year-round.

Every one of the nature-related events, activities and educational workshops focuses on the exploration of the vast cross section of native Scottish wildlife, the stunning landscapes and the rich natural history and unique geological features to be found in Lochaber.

Ian MacLeod, an organiser of the Wild Lochaber Festival, said: “Now in it’s fourth year, the Wild Lochaber Festival is a celebration of the wildlife, geology and wild places of Lochaber, the Outdoor Capital of the UK.

“Run by volunteers who are passionate about sharing their love of the wildlife and wild places, it’s a great opportunity for both locals and visitors to discover this unique corner of Scotland.

“With such a diverse programme of activities the festival offers a unique opportunity to try a variety of wildlife related activities in the company of some of Lochaber’s expert guides.”

On Saturday 16 May, ‘Go Wild on the Canal’ opens the 2015 Wild Lochaber Festival.

The full day of land and waterbased activities for all the family, organised by Scottish Canals and Scottish Waterways Trust, includes Water Walkers, boat trips, a team challenge raft race, waterside workouts and ‘come and try’ canoe, sailing and kayak sessions.

There will also be a birds of prey display, traditional music, face painting and wildlife safaris, together with many stalls promoting wildlife and the outdoors.

Lochaber Geopark, one of the founder members of the festival, are again actively involved in the festival in 2015, running a number of events to promote Lochaber’s outstanding geological heritage.

Their Rock Safaris include a fascinating trip to the Parallel Roads, one of Lochaber’s renowned geosites, a set of mysterious parallel lines that run all along Glen Roy, perfectly parallel to each other which also have a controversial connection to Charles Darwin.

Lochaber Geopark have also teamed up with Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, to deliver demonstrations and activities to explain how the region’s magnificent landscape was formed.

The Festival closes with another family fun day, entitled Butterflies, Birds, Bugs… and Hairy Coos on Saturday 30 May.

Forestry Commission Scotland, Butterfly Conservation, Highland Council rangers and the RSPB will lead activities to find out everything there is to know about the animals living in and around the Allt Mhuic butterfly reserve, Loch Arkaig – butterflies, moths, bugs and beasties, sea eagles, and even the treasured herd of highland cattle.

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Media contact:

For further information and to arrange interviews please contact:

Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E:

M: +44 (0)7913 951717

The Outdoor Capital of the UK

Outdoor Capital of the UK is Lochaber Chamber of Commerce’s tourism element.

Under the OCUK brand, the Chamber of Commerce publicise, sponsor and promote Lochaber as a tourism destination. The Outdoor Capital of the UK website is the site to go to for local events and visitor accommodation in Lochaber.

Through a range of collaborative marketing intiatives and activities the organisation promotes Fort William and Lochaber as the best place in the UK for everyone to experience the outdoors; with a view to developing local jobs and wealth and encouraging sustainable economic growth.

Visitors interested in the outdoors are very important to the economy and community of Lochaber. There are over 65 different activities to choose from in an amazing landscape that encompasses the small isles to Ben Nevis with white water rivers, sea, lochs, beaches, forest, glens, cliffs and mountains in between.

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Contact: Paddy Cuthbert