Blair Drummond Safari Park is hosting a weekend of ocean-themed activities this weekend.
One of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions, near Stirling, is hosting a special event as part of a global celebration of the world’s oceans on 8-9 June.
There will be lots of activities for visitors, including the opportunity to lean about the amazing wildlife in our oceans, and to take part in a large-scale art project led by local artist Donna Owens.
The safari park, which is home to a raft of Humboldt penguins and Scotland’s only sea lions, will also be hosting officers from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, who will be on hand demonstrating equipment and teaching younger visitors about water rescue and how to stay safe in water.
And there will be representatives from charities Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Safari Park’s charity partner the Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit, along with the opportunity to learn more about Scotland’s new deposit return scheme from campaign group ‘Have you got the bottle’.
Alex Wainwright, Sea Lion keeper at Blair Drummond Safari Park, said: ‘World Oceans Day takes place on June 8th and is celebrated around the world by special events like this one at the Safari Park.
‘Our visitors love finding out more about the sea lions and penguins at the Safari Park. Plastic pollution is very topical at the moment and our sea lion presentation is a great way to show simple things that everybody can do to help look after our oceans.’
Community artist Donna Owens has worked for 15 years with arts agency Artlink Central will be at the Safari Park over the weekend running an interactive workshop on the theme of protecting the wildlife in our oceans and waterways.
She said: ‘We’ll be building a giant sea lion from materials that would otherwise be disposed of as waste. This is a project that people of all ages can contribute to and the finished artwork will be on display at the safari park to highlight the issues of plastic waste in our oceans.
‘This is the first time a project like this has been completed at the Safari Park and I’m delighted to be involved in the creation of this new piece of art.’
Heather McLaughlin, community project officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful said: ‘We’re delighted to be working with the park again this year as part of World Oceans Day celebrations. Highlighting litter levels in our seas in a fun and creative way will be a great opportunity to engage with people of all ages to try and tackle the problem.
‘We know that litter levels are at the worst they have been in over a decade, and with 80% of marine litter coming from land it is important that we work with businesses, schools and communities to tackle this issue from source to sea.’
World Ocean Weekend at Blair Drummond Safari Park takes place on 8-9 June. All activities are included in the standard price of admission or free for members.
Discounted tickets can be booked in advance from the Safari Park website on www.blairdrummond.com.