Aquarium to mark its first 25 years of conservation

One of the North East’s most beloved visitor attractions is celebrating 25 years of success this Easter.

Macduff Marine Aquarium has been entertaining and educating people about the local marine environment since opening in 1997. The aquarium will mark the occasion with a Silver Splash gala event on the weekend of 9 and 10 April, and pop-up Silver Spray events during the year.

The family-orientated fun weekend will include a big variety of activities both inside and outside the aquarium over the two days, including free Spring into Easter activities with Live Life Aberdeenshire.

Over the years, the aquarium’s focus has been to promote awareness and enjoyment of local sea life. In keeping with this, throughout the weekend there will be a Sea-habilitation tent with wildlife organisations inspiring us to conserve our natural heritage, plus a fun sharky eggcase hunt around the aquarium grounds.

Visitors will be invited to help create a seawall mosaic and take part in fishy art and a silver stones trail.

Inside the aquarium there will be shows with local magicians Dean and Victoria, and the aquarium’s own Cedric the flapper skate will be taking centre stage in the ‘Ere’s Something Fishy Roon Here’ Doric storytelling sessions, with British Sign Language interpreters.

BBC Scotland Out of Doors presenters Euan McIlwraith and Mark Stephen will be at the aquarium on the Sunday to tell tales of outdoor adventures and talk to visitors. The ever-popular dive show will be back too, and other shows throughout the weekend will look back at the aquarium’s story.

Doug Allan has worked as a cameraman for Sir David Attenborough

Also joining for the weekend will be award winning wildlife cameraman Doug Allan, patron of the Friends of Macduff Marine Aquarium. He will be chatting to visitors about his experiences filming for such series as The Blue Planet and Planet Earth alongside Sir David Attenborough and giving exclusive illustrated presentations on the Friday and Saturday evenings.

The aquarium’s manager, Claire Matthews, said: ‘I can’t believe the aquarium is already 25! To me, it only feels like yesterday when we were welcoming HRH Princess Anne on our official opening day.

‘There has been much water through the tanks since then – we have seen around 1.25 million visitors through our doors, have won awards, featured on TV, managed a complete renovation of our central exhibit and looked after lots of fishy characters.

‘Over this time, the aquarium has gone from strength to strength and many brilliant people have worked with passion and enthusiasm to make the aquarium such a popular and enduring attraction in our town.

‘We hope lots of folk come to “shell-ebrate” with us at our Silver Splash gala – it’s shaping up to be a “fin-tastic” programme!’

The event will run from 11am to 5pm on both days. All outside activities will be free as part of the Live Life Aberdeenshire Spring into Easter programme. Normal entry prices will apply to visit the aquarium. Storytelling, dive shows and presentations in the theatre are included in the aquarium entry price but will need tickets – these will be issued on the day on a first come first served basis.

Tickets for Doug Allan’s presentations will be on sale at £10.

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