Make friends with a dolphin!
Fun-loving, sociable and intelligent, dolphins are among the most treasured of all our marine creatures. Let’s be clear from the start, thankfully you won’t find any dolphins in aquariums or wildlife parks in the UK. But over 25 species of whale, dolphin and porpoises do call the British seas home so you may be lucky and spot one. But your chances will be boosted if you visit a well-known dolphin destination.
Where to find Dolphins
Scientists from the University of Plymouth along with Cornwall Wildlife Trust have recently appeared to confirm the existence of a resident pod of Bottlenose Dolphins. They range along the Dorset, Devon and Cornish Coast. It’s something that has long been suspected by staff and visitors to Durlston Country Park who have been keep a close on eye on the creatures comings and goings. You can even get a text alert when Dolphin as well as other marine wildlife is in the area or join their Dolphin Watch team.
The newly discovered westcountry pod joins other home-grown pods in Wales and Scotland. In remains to be seen if the Welsh, Scots and Westcountry Dolphins have regional accents!
Cardigan Bay in Wales is famous for its Bottlenose dolphins and there are lots of boat trips available, plus you’ve also got a good chance of seeing them from the land too. Visit Wales claims the Cardigan Bay group is the largest pod of Bottlenose Dolphins in the UK, with the best time to spot them between April and November. Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre is a great place to start.
Moray Firth, near Inverness on Scotland’s east coast, is another popular place to track down dolphins. Try the Whale and Dolphin Centre in Spey Bay on the A56 east of Inverness. Global charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation runs the centre. It claims the centre is one of the best places in the UK to go dolphin watching, and also get visits from Osprey, Seals, Otters and other wildlife too.
Check out the Seawatch Foundation charity for other places to spot dolphins in the UK.
OCEANROCKS adores dolphins – our Fish Lizard t-shirt pays tribute to an incredible prehistoric marine creature which looked like a cross between a dolphin and a shark!
A boat trip is often a great way to see a whole host of amazing species. There are usually codes of conduct for operators to follow, but if in doubt check with a conservation charity or tourist board. WiSe is an example of an accreditation scheme for operators.
National Whale and Dolphin Week
Every year the SeaWatch Foundation runs National Whale and Dolphin Week with organised events and activities t help you discover more about the amazig creatures.
Stay safe on the coast
Remember always to stay safe at the coast. Follow official signs and guidance, keep an eye on the tides and weather, don’t go too close to cliff edges or stray too near to the foot of cliffs. Always use your common sense, be prepared, and if in doubt seek official advice from the RNLI, Maritime and Coastguard Agency or local council websites.
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