Building links with the local community here in Moray, north east Scotland, has been crucial to the success of the Scottish Dolphin Centre. Many many local people care for the bottlenose dolphins and other Scottish wildlife just as much as WDC does – and they show their passion by supporting us in a wide variety of ways. Volunteers collect data on dolphin sightings through WDC’s Shorewatch programme, children have created art and sculpture displays to raise awareness of biodiversity, and local businesses have been behind the scenes, giving essential financial support.
Just five miles from the Centre a long established family business has its base: the famous fine quality food manufacturers, Baxters. Since WDC took over the visitor centre over ten years ago, the Baxter family have made an invaluable contribution to the centre’s work. The Baxters Foundation and the Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation have given generous support to the development of the education room so thousands of children can enjoy outdoor activities at Spey Bay, exhibitions such as Underwater World and more recently the Dry Dive, both aimed at opening visitors’ eyes to the fascinating marine environment. A Heritage Project enabled local children to learn about life in Spey Bay in days gone by, including interviewing older members of the community and creating a beautiful sundial.
We are absolutely delighted that the Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation have awarded a further £15,000 towards WDC’s outdoor education, volunteering programme and the promotion of tourism over the next three years. This generous support will help us support and train local volunteers, aiming to build their skill sets and confidence. Over 1,500 children will enjoy watching for dolphins on the Scottish coast and walks along the River Spey. We will also work with other local organisations to build on Moray’s unique tourism offer and work on partnership projects.
Baxters, thank you, and we look forward to working with you on this project for the next three years!