Take-off for puffin festival

Puffins. Picture by Shahram Rezai.
Puffins. Picture by Shahram Rezai.

Puffin’s the word in a seaside town as it gears up for a quirky new two-week celebration, which starts this weekend.

Organisers of the Amble Puffin Festival, which has attracted worldwide interest, hope the event will be a flying success, honouring the cute black and white creatures and showcasing the area.

An action-packed programme has been drawn up and includes live music, walks, story and craft sessions, talks, puffin cruises and more.

Craig Weir, chairman of the Amble Action Group, said: “The response to the festival has been fantastic.

“It is unique and a lot of hard work has gone into the festival and I am sure it is going to be a success.”

The festival has been inspired by the colony of 36,000-odd puffins that nest on the RSPB seabird sanctuary of nearby Coquet Island.

Starting on Saturday and running until June 1, the event takes place at the best time of year to see the Coquet Island puffins as they care for their newly-hatched pufflings.

Activities over the two weeks will cater for all ages and be held in a variety of locations throughout the town.

The festival begins on Saturday with an opening ceremony in the Town Square at 2pm.

There will be an Arrival of the Pufflings dance, an RSPB photo shoot stall, an appearance from poet Ian Williams and a climbing wall with Amble cadets.

A young people’s music festival, entitled Emerge, starts at 4pm in the Town Square.

There will also be a barbecue and face-painting.

Other highlights include a food and drink festival on Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26.

Classes throughout the fortnight include a puffintastic craft workshop and photo workshops for children.

On June 1, there will be a music festival, with a range of artists and groups, and a children’s funfair, among other things.

The festival has been organised by Amble Action Group, with the support of a number of groups and organisations, including the town’s council, development trust and business club.

For more information and to see a full programme of events, as well as to find out more about purchasing tickets for a number of activities, visit www.amblepuffinfest.co.uk