A NEW Discovery Experience awaits visitors to the Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick, this weekend following an 18-month refurbishment project.

The visitor attraction boasts new mechanical exhibits, interactive games, storyboards and a virtual reality experience.

There is also an upgrade to the popular Bass Rock interactive cameras, which show live action from the home of the world’s largest northern gannet colony.

All of the elements within the experience have been designed in partnership with a team from Glasgow Science Centre.

The Seabird Centre says its new Discovery Experience aims to “transport visitors of all ages from the warmth and comfort of the centre deep into a variety of Scottish marine habits”.

Focus is on the themes of seabirds, marine habitats and wildlife, threats and scientific discovery.

It also examines the wonders of marine habitats and the challenges they face, from climate change to marine plastics.

The refurbishment also saw upgrades to the centre’s education centre, cafe and retail space.

Susan Davies, CEO of the Seabird Centre, said: “Our refurbishment programme has been both exciting and challenging.

“We are thrilled with the overall refresh of all our exhibits as this strengthens our capability for telling the story of Scotland’s marine environment to diverse audiences.

“2020 sees us celebrate both our 20th anniversary, and Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, with a transformed visitor and educational experience.

“Scotland’s marine environment is exceptional and diverse. There is a growing awareness of both its importance and the pressures it is under – not least from climate change, invasive species, underwater noise and marine pollution.

“Our seas provide vital natural services for society including climate regulation, food provision, renewable energy, scientific discovery and education opportunities. It is important people are aware of its importance and the need to protect it and to use the resources it provides in a sustainable way.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors back to the centre. We hope we will inspire them to embrace the societal changes needed to ensure our marine environment remains healthy and wildlife-rich for generations to come.”

One lucky visitor managed to get an exclusive preview of the centre’s new Discovery Experience.

Pamela Newby, of North Berwick, visited with friends and family last Friday.

The 36-year-old mum-of-two said: “It is fantastic to see the new-look Scottish Seabird Centre’s Discovery Experience. The children were all enthralled by the variety of video games and puzzles.

“It was absolutely amazing to be transported to the Bass Rock to roam among the gannets, then swim through the ocean with whales and porpoises using virtual reality. It is a great fun way to introduce children to our marine environment and teach them the importance of protecting it for generations to come.”

The Discovery Experience officially reopens to the public on Saturday.