The safety and wellbeing of everyone at Orca Watch 2020 is our highest priority, and you will all be aware of the fast-changing coronavirus advice – the need for social distancing and isolation, likely required for several months; limiting travel to essential journeys; and the strong advice from the Scottish Government that people should not travel to the Highlands and Islands. We are therefore very sorry to say that we have no alternative but to cancel Orca Watch 2020.
We are very saddened to have to do this, especially having experienced the joy and enthusiasm for the event that many of you have expressed to us and on social media. As event organisers, we have a duty of care to all participants and to the communities hosting us. We also have a responsibility to do our part in helping to reduce the spread of the virus, and so we cannot proceed with an event that would encourage people to gather.
Our thanks to all those of you who volunteered to help at the event, and to everyone running accommodation who became our official partners. We will be contacting all Official Volunteers and Official Accommodation Providers shortly to explain their options in respect of the registration fee for these schemes.
We earnestly hope that we will be able to run Orca Watch in May 2021, once again celebrating the wildlife and the glorious coasts of Caithness, North Sutherland, and the Orkneys and Shetland Isles. We’ll confirm the dates shortly.
Thanks again for your support. We had been looking forward to a wonderful Orca Watch – and we hope to see you next year.
Meanwhile, keep in touch with us and each other, via our Facebook Page (Orca Watch 2020), our Facebook Group (Orca Watch), and the Sea Watch website.
Best wishes, and please look after yourselves and others,
From Hannah Parkinson (Project Manager, Orca Watch 2020) and everyone at Sea Watch.