NATURE enthusiasts in the region are being encouraged to take part in this year’s national whale and dolphin watch.

For more than 40 years, Sea Watch Foundation scientists and volunteer observers have been reporting on whales, dolphins and porpoises. This year’s flagship summer event will takes place between July 29 and August 6.

There are several events in the region, including at Seahouses, in Northumberland, Whitburn, South Tyneside, and Hendon cliffs, near Sunderland. In North Yorkshire, watches are taking place at Whitby and Scarborough.

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Sightings officer Kathy James said: “In recent weeks, species such as white-beaked dolphins have been seen off Northumberland. Whitby is famed for its whale-hunting past, but today eager wildlife watchers can hunt minke whales through binoculars instead.”

She added: “All people need to do to take part is to report their whale and dolphin sightings to us and either participate in the organised watches or arrange their own. No experience is necessary.”