THE North-East is one of the best regions for whale spotting, according to findings from a public survey.

Sea Watch Foundation has this week released the results from its annual National Whale and Dolphin Watch (NWDW) where locals record the marine life they spot from their doorstep coastline.

The summer event ran from July 28 to August 5, 2018, and saw about 80 hours put in by North-East residents from Cleveland up to Northumberland.

About 75 sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises were recorded in the region – meaning there was an average of one sighting per hour.

The results showed that the region is one of the best places in the country to see whales and dolphins, following close behind Scotland, South Devon, Yorkshire and Wales.

The highest number was recorded in South-West Scotland with 219 sightings.

The North-East was also noted as an area of high species diversity as eight different types of whales and dolphins were recorded out the total 13 spotted UK-wide.

Common sightings along the region’s coastline included harbour porpoises, the popular bottlenose dolphin and the occasional minke whale.

Dr Chiara Giulia Bertulli, organiser of the NWDW, said: “I am very proud of what we achieved with the help of wildlife enthusiasts and conservation and recording organisations around the country, who have contributed data collected from boats (inshore and offshore) and from land stations in different parts of the UK.”

Sea Watch Foundation are now seeking volunteers to take part in the next National Whale and Dolphin Watch, which takes place July 27 to August 4 2019.

The organisation is asking people with plenty to no whale watching experience to get involved.

People with experience of ‘official watches’, who can quite readily identify species, just need some sightings forms, a pen and a pair of binoculars.

Those who are ‘first timers’, or need a bit of help with indenfication, can head for a manned site in their area.

These sites are lead by experienced Sea Watch Foundation observers and are organised by local co-ordinators.

Locals can register their interest online or by contacting an organiser of a manned site.

More information about this year’s report, the 2019 event and how to take part can be found at