Macduff Marine Aquarium to celebrate 20th anniversary with a Big Splash

Macduff will be celebrating this October school holidays as one of the North East’s most beloved tourist attractions hosts a weekend fun event for its 20th anniversary.

Macduff Marine Aquarium, which has delighted residents and visitors to the area since 1997, will celebrate the recent makeover of its kelp reef exhibit and 20th anniversary with a two-day-long event on Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29.

The family-orientated fun weekend will include a variety of activities inside and outside the aquarium all weekend. There will be hands-on art workshops, an underwater wildlife photography exhibition, fishy prize draws, live reptile and bug handling and much more.

BBC wildlife cameraman and presenter Gordon Buchanan will be at the aquarium on the Sunday giving talks to the public about his adventures as a wildlife film maker.

The aquarium’s sea wall will receive its own makeover during the weekend, with younger visitors being invited to get creative with spray paint and take part in a street art workshop to create a fun, sea-themed mural along the wall.

Visitors will also have a chance to add to a sea-themed art installation for the aquarium created from plastic rubbish often found on beaches, along with a local artist who will work on a centre-piece sculpture to highlight the problems of marine litter for our sea life.

Provost of Aberdeenshire, Bill Howatson, said: “Macduff Marine Aquarium is one of the North East’s most well-known attractions and this celebration weekend marking its reopening and 20th anniversary has something to suit everyone.

“The council’s investment of half a million pounds during its anniversary year highlights just how important we view the aquarium as a major driver for tourism in the North East.

“A huge amount of work has gone into draining and refurbishing the central kelp reef tank as well as other sections of the aquarium to give it a new lease of life and I look forward to seeing how it continues to go from strength to strength over the next 20 years.”

Chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Peter Argyle, said: “The refurbishment of Macduff Marine Aquarium has been no mean feat and I would like to thank everyone involved as well as the public for their patience while the work took place.

“In recognition of the aquarium’s importance to Macduff, we’re asking the local community and past visitors to share their favourite memories of the aquarium over the past 20 years.

“These will make up a story board to go on display over the anniversary weekend so if you have any photos or memories of the aquarium please send them to macduff.aquarium@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

“As part of the refurbishment, the aquarium has received sponsorship to help reduce its energy usage from TAQA and I would also like to thank them for their support in providing the new LED display lighting and climate change information board.”

Neil Fowler, HSSEQ director at TAQA, said: “We are lucky to have such a great facility in our community where people can experience and learn about marine life from the local Moray Firth area.

“At TAQA we continuously work to respect the natural environment and sustainability is a key focus and we are therefore please to be able to support new energy saving lighting at Macduff Marine Aquarium.”

The aquarium will be open from 11am to 5pm on both days and normal admission prices will apply.