Wester Ross Seashore Festival
A programme of seashore events and activities for all the family in Wester Ross for the week of the 11th - 16th October.
The Highland Seashore Project has been working in partnership with WREN (Wester Ross Environmental Network) to bring one of eight Highland Seashore Festivals to Wester Ross. Festivals vary reflecting local communities unique histories and heritage, but this one will include two free ceilidhs with local musicians, songs, poems, stories and artwork that have been inspired by the sea and coast. Paddy Luc, an artist who has provided workshops for the project, said, “The Seashore project wants everyone to feel the benefit of what the project is aiming to do, stimulate a greater love for our coasts. The festivals can help those who know our shores well, share all of that experience with others who live and work around them”.
WREN have taken the idea and run with it to create two exciting festival programmes. There is a daylong festival at the Dundonnell Hotel on Little Loch Broom on the 11th October to kick the festivities off. The day starts at 12pm with something for everyone. For those of a master chef disposition there is a seafood cooking demonstration with chefs from Dry Island Shellfish and Gareth of the Dundonnell Hotel will be setting up a mussel cooking station out on the saltings. The emphasis is on the rich variety of food that is available from our shores and all caught sustainably.
Roddy MacLean the well-known author will be enthralling young and old alike with local tales of the sea. Top biologist Mike Kendall will be out on the shore leading seashore exploration of all beasties crawling and burrowing. Outside the hotel the artist known as Beads will be taking the latest haul of beach rubbish and creating the giant Messie Little Loch Broom Monster.
In the evening there is something for the grown ups at Dundonnell Hotel from 5pm till late there will be Sea Shanties from top folk group Destitution Road, so bring your biggest voices for joining in the choruses. A prize-winning quiz and a fish supper (at £6.50 per head) will be available on the night.
If that isn’t enough then the festival moves south for a week of events. Starting with an evening talk on St Kilda by the National Trust for Scotland’s Western Isles Manager at 7.30pm on the 13th October at Poolewe Village Hall. On Tuesday 14th October everything is at Gairloch with sea stories, seashore safaris, snorkelling and a party for hermit crabs on the Golf Course Beach at 11am. There will be more cooking, this time at the GALE Centre at 1pm with seashore arts and crafts. On Wednesday the festival is at Inverewe at the Inverewe Restaurant for a whole host of seashore activities for the family and local Storytellers. The grand finale is back at the Poolewe Village Hall with a free ceilidh with Flowerdale Fog on Thursday 16th October at 8pm, an enthusiastic band of local musicians many of whom sail, fish or pull up creels in local waters. If you have a song or story, some marine wildlife pictures or a video about the sea, bring it along!
To find out more, times and places contact Reuben Brown of the Highland Council Ranger Service at 01854 613 904 or Peter Cunningham of Wester Ross Fisheries Trust on 01445 712 899. Or go to the Highland Seashore project web site at http://www.highlandseashore.org.uk/ or the BBC Activity web site.