Sixteen school pupils from Ullapool, Lochinver and Dundonnell have successfully completed training to become ‘Dolphin Snorkelers’.
The pupils started a seven-week programme in January and learned the basics of putting on and caring for snorkel equipment, techniques in snorkelling, basic diving signals and how to safely enter and get out of the water. They were led by staff from Highlife Highland and local volunteers who have recently qualified as BSAC Snorkel Instructors.
“Schools and groups have really embraced the environment and nature and most kids seem to have a real interest and enthusiasm for it all,” said our Living Seas Communities Officer Noel Hawkins. “This part of Scotland has a fantastically rich and varied coast, by making it more accessible we are encouraging better awareness and understanding of the great range of marine life that can be found just a few feet off our shores.”
Last summer the Trust launched Scotland’s first snorkel trail, which links nine sites on a 200 mile stretch of coast between Gairloch and Lochinver. The trail has attracted a large amount of international interest and was listed as one of the 10 best places to swim with wildlife in the UK.
Our Living Seas project now aims to offer additional pool-based courses to introduce more school pupils to snorkelling, and is investigating the possibility of purchasing additional kit to make it possible to get into the open sea.
The North West Highland Snorkel Trail is part of the Trust’s Living Seas project, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.