Fin-tastic Photo Fun for Primary Pupils

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What a start to the school year! Local pupils have become our first ever Whale Detectives in a brand new workshop, thanks to the support of the Waterfall Fund and Argyll and Bute Council.

At HWDT, we love being able to give back to our local communities. This summer, thanks to grants from the Waterfall Fund and Argyll and Bute Council’s Supporting Communities Fund, we have developed and delivered Whale Detectives - a new educational workshop - to all primary schools on Mull, Iona and in Kilchoan. With this new workshop, based on real scientific research, we hoped to inspire and amaze children with stories about individual animals that can be seen from our shores year after year.

In August, 250 pupils from across Mull, Iona and Kilchoan took on the role of marine scientists, identifying individual minke whales from photographs and sightings submitted to HWDT by the community. Using their detective skills, pupils became familiar with some of the characters known locally - like Knobble a minke whale with a distinctive fin, who has returned annually to local waters for the past 14 years! The pupils also mapped the whales movements around our islands and considered what we can learn about these animals locally, and globally with the help of community sightings and photographs. 

A brilliant opportunity for children to become Whale Detectives and learn about minke whales local to them
— Kilchoan Primary School Teacher

As well as receiving a classroom visit, children from Kilchoan Primary School joined us for a headland watch at Ardnamurchan Lighthouse, where volunteers Milo and Tierney lent a hand looking out for wildlife. A similar event with Tobermory High School in June was also made possible by the Waterfall Fund, with the students helping to conserve a wild place and achieve the John Muir Discovery Award.