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The Outer Hebrides Wildlife Festival is open for registration of events for its 2024 programme.

The Festival is looking for a range of hosts to hold events across the islands during this third annual celebration of wildlife in the Outer Hebrides, this year taking place from June 22-29 with a Fringe Festival running through July.

Those interested in running an event or activity or offering a venue are invited to register via the festival’s website: https://www.outerhebrideswildlifefestival.co.uk/host-an-event

Events at past festivals include guided walks, boat trips, water sports such as paddle boarding, snorkelling and surfing, nature writing workshops, marine mammal survey training, bumblebee safaris, species ID training, Gaelic workshops, art exhibitions and more.

The festival organisers will also be looking for volunteers to help with the running of the festival, as well as artists to contribute to the festival’s art exhibition. Information about how to get involved as a volunteer or artist will be shared on the Outer Hebrides Wildlife Festival website soon.

The festival is coordinated by Species on the Edge, a multi-million-pound conservation programme working to recover Scotland’s rarest and most threatened coastal and island species.

As part of the programme’s efforts in tackling biodiversity loss across Scotland, the Outer Hebrides Wildlife Festival is an opportunity for locals and visitors to learn more about, connect with, and enjoy the special wildlife of the Outer Hebrides through community-run events, as well as learn how they can get involved in conservation efforts.    

Festival Coordinator, Mairi Robertson Carrey from Bumblebee Conservation Trust said: “Last year’s festival was a wonderful success; the diversity of the events was outstanding and really reflected the different ways we enjoy and are inspired by nature. It was exciting to support so many of our grassroot community-led projects, local businesses, artists and venues.

“We hope this year to inspire more people to connect with nature and with each other and to learn more about our unique natural environment and ways to help safeguard it. If you want to talk through your event idea with us, please get in touch: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..” 

Alasdair Allan, MSP for the Western Isles and Nature Champion for the endangered great yellow bumblebee, was both an event host and attendee at last year’s festival. He said: “Last year’s Outer Hebrides Wildlife Festival was a huge success, and it was a pleasure to be involved. We are so fortunate here in the Western Isles to have an incredible wealth of nature and wildlife right on our doorstep, and I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved in this year’s festival, whether through organising or attending events and getting out to explore the natural world around us.”

Species on the Edge is a novel and exciting approach to species conservation, bringing together staff, resources, and expertise from across the conservation sector in a joined up effort to tackle biodiversity loss across Scotland. Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Species on the Edge partnership consists of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, NatureScot, Plantlife, and RSPB Scotland. To find out more about the programme and its activity across Scotland, head to www.speciesontheedge.co.uk

Andrew Thompson, Marketing and Communications Manager for The National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we are supporting Species on the Edge projects around Scotland’s coasts and islands to protect some of our most vulnerable species and also to create more opportunities for communities to get involved in that important work.

“Hosting an event as part of the festival is a great way to raise awareness of the opportunities to support natural heritage, to reach more people with information on how they can get involved and to talk about the recognised benefits to wellbeing that can come from engaging with nature.”