20,000 people attend Stranraer Oyster Festival in record turn-out

Tony Singh, Felicity Cloake, Julie Lin and Michael Caines at Stranraer Oyster Festival on Saturday 16 September. Photographer Colin Hattersley.
Tony Singh, Felicity Cloake, Julie Lin and Michael Caines at Stranraer Oyster Festival on Saturday 16 September. Credit: Colin Hattersley

Organisers of the Stranraer Oyster Festival say record crowds are turning out for the three day event with more than 20,000 people expected.

The festival in south west Scotland celebrates the wild, native oysters of Loch Ryan. 

The programme includes demos from celebrity chefs Michael Caines, Julie Lin, Tony Singh and Felicity Cloake and runs until Sunday evening. It coincides with the start of the native oyster season, which runs from September until April. 

Romano Petrucci, Chair of Stranraer Development Trust, the community organisation that runs the festival, said: “In a very short period of time Stranraer Oyster Festival has become a hugely important part of Stranraer’s identity, and a real focal point for celebrating the very best the area has to offer. No one should ever doubt our community’s ability to create, produce and deliver the very best, and the very best is what we will always seek to deliver.”

Speaking at the festival Chef Michael Caines said: “It’s my first time here at Stranraer for the oyster festival, it’s a huge festival and that it’s community led is really important.

“There’s wonderful chef demonstrations, local producers and oysters at the centre of it – the location is absolutely stunning because it is all about these native oysters. 

“The festival really is starting to get momentum and put Stranraer on the map, it’s such a great community spirit here and I’m loving being part of it.”

This year Stranraer Oyster Festival has also committed to lowering its environmental impact with festival organisers plegding to return the shell of every one of the 10,000 oysters consumed back to Loch Ryan to help efforts to grow the wild, native oyster bed.

Native oysters create marine habitat and boost biodiversity.

Over the last 30 years Loch Ryan Oyster Fishery has grown the oyster bed from 1 million to 60 million oysters, and they hope to hit 100 million by 2040.

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