Rib-tickling Wildlife Fun
Thursday 17th February, 2011
Northern Experience Wildlife Tours and ‘Glad Tidings’ Farne Island Boat Trips
Embargo Date; 17/02/2011 10:00
Rib-tickling wildlife fun
Two of Northumberland’s leading wildlife tour operators are joining forces this summer to bring a groundbreaking offshore experience to visitors to the North Northumberland coast.
Northern Experience Wildlife Tours (NEWT) and Billy Shiel’s Farne Island Boat Trips have created a series of ‘Rib-tickling Northumbrian Wildlife Tours’ using the RIB (rigid inflatable boat) Ocean Explorer. With Minke Whale, Harbour Porpoise, White-beaked Dolphin and a range of seabirds all possible the trips are sure to prove popular with visitors to Seahouses and the surrounding area.
Martin Kitching, who owns NEWT, explained the benefits for the local economy “the tourism industry is an incredibly important part of Northumberland’s economy so, by working together on this groundbreaking project, our trips will make Northumberland an even more attractive place for holidaymakers and bring increased trade to local businesses. In uncertain times for tourism, we’re doing all we can to raise the profile of Northumberland as a holiday destination. The winter may be a quiet time, but we’ve spent it developing our new products and bouncing ideas around”.
William Shiel said “We’ve had Ocean Explorer for a little while now and , after working closely with NEWT on their September Whale & Dolphin Cruises, we were keen to explore the wildlife watching possibilities that a fast boat offers. Having Martin onboard as a wildlife guide will really add to the visitor experience. With our skipper’s knowledge of the local area, and Martin’s research for the Northeast Cetacean Project, we can take visitors to the best locations. These evening trips will complement our existing range of boat trips to the Farne Islands, and bring a very different experience”.
The trips will take place on selected weekday evenings from mid-July until late-August. The route will depend on the weather conditions and recent wildlife sightings but with the combination of offshore wildlife and iconic locations like Dunstanburgh Castle, Holy Island and the Farne Islands all within the area that the trips will cover, it’ll be an unforgettable experience for visitors to our beautiful county. As well as the trips being open to the general public, Martin and William said that bespoke trips for groups of up to 12 can be arranged.
To find out more about this year’s trips, call Martin on 01670 827465 or William on 01665 720308.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Northern Experience Wildlife Tours
Northern Experience Wildlife Tours was founded in 2006, offering guided wildlife, birdwatching and photography trips throughout Northeast England all year-round and offshore wildlife cruises in July, August and September. Northern Experience owner, Martin Kitching, has organised offshore wildlife trips from Northumberland since 1998 and was one of the finders of the first Wilson's Petrel to be seen in the British North Sea. Martin is the former Field Trips Officer for the Northumberland & Tyneside Bird Club and former editor and author, and current sub-editor, of the highly rated annual report, Birds in Northumbria. Martin is Lead Surveyor for the Northeast Cetacean Project and a member of the northeast regional hub of Netgain (the North Sea Marine Conservation Zones Project). Further information can be found by visiting our website at www.northernexperiencewildlifetours.co.uk
‘Glad Tidings’ Farne Island Boat Trips
The Shiel family began taking boat trips to the Farne Islands in 1918, and in the 1930’s the business as it exists today really got going. Billy Shiel began working with his father at the age of 14 and has been operating out of Seahouses for over 60 years, now joined by his son William. The Glad Tidings fleet of boats have carried thousands of passengers across to the Farne Islands. In 1997 Billy Shiel was awarded an MBE for his services to tourism in Northumberland. Further information can be found by visiting our website at www.farne-islands.com