All go at Octopus Centre during half-term break

COAST volunteers and staff join visitors in identifying and learning about some of the more unusual creatures in the tank.

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Parents and children have been taking advantage of both the Scottish and English half-term break by paying a visit to Arran’s all-weather educational attraction, the Octopus Centre in Lamlash.

The headquarters of environmental charity, Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST), the Octopus Centre has a number of exhibits for people of all ages to enjoy while also learning about Arran’s sea life.

The most compelling for the majority of children is the marine tank which holds a number of interesting aquatic creatures that they can seek out – a task made all the more fun as some are elusive and hide under rocks.

For the technology-loving teens there are a number of interactive activities, along with marine themed films and a number of exhibits which are tactile and interesting and make learning about subjects, such as eating and living sustainably, fun.

In  addition to providing information on Arran’s Marine Protected Area and No Take Zone, the centre also hires out rock-pooling backpacks, beach blankets, tennis equipment, binoculars, snorkelling kit and free information on the best places to see wildlife, go swimming or learn about recent sightings.

The octopus centre is open seven days a week and from November to Easter is open from 11am to 3pm. From Easter to October it is open from 10am to 4pm and throughout the year it offers free wifi, has public toilets and, because it is located in the former tennis pavilion, has outdoor tennis courts for hire.

Abigail Kerr, 10, and her mum Kirsty -who are visiting from Blantyre – seek out as many creatures as they can find in the marine tank.