Helped wanted to clean Scotland’s beaches

It’s been a great summer for Scottish beach lovers – and now they’ve being urged to join the 25th annual coastal clean up.

Event organisers the Marine Conservation Society say supporters are the key to cleaner beaches, and hope more people than ever before in Scotland will take part in event from 14-17 September.

The event around the country’s coastline will help ensure some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK aren’t being taken for granted.

The Great British Beach Clean is part of the MCS Beachwatch programme. It not only spruces up hundreds of beaches around the UK coast, but volunteers also record the litter they find, and it’s this aspect that has really helped MCS change policy and behaviours over the last quarter of a century.

MCS is running at least 41 beach cleans and surveys around Scotland, but so far only 436 volunteers have signed up – last year over 1,500 volunteers cleaned up more than 100 beaches.

The charity says it’s really helpful if people register their interest online before the event to ensure organisers have enough kit to go round! You can register right up until the very last minute HERE, and of course you can just turn up on the day.

The Great British Beach Clean is being sponsored by Waitrose for the second year in a row – cash from their carrier bag sales in England goes towards supporting MCS’ UK-wide year round beach clean programme. MCS beach litter work is also supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The MCS beach clean event takes place every third weekend in September as part of the charity’s year round Beachwatch programme.

Volunteers who get involved in Scotland will be joining an army of beach cleaners not only around the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, but all over the world as part of the global International Coastal Clean-up, which takes a snap shot of beach litter across the planet on a single weekend.

Catherine Gemmell, MCS Scotland Conservation Officer, says volunteers are the lifeblood of the event and have been since 1994, and feels the data they collect is vital.

She said: ‘Last year an amazing 1588 volunteers took part in the Great British Beach Clean on Scottish beaches. We’d love to see even more people heading to the country’s beaches and helping clean up at the events that have been organised so far.’

The events include:

Aberdeen – Aberdeen North; Aberdeenshire; Greenbanks Bay; Torry Battery;

Angus – East Haven; Elliot Links; Ferryden; Montrose; Scurdie Ness South;

Argyll – Gareloch S of Rhu Spit;

Argyll & Bute – Arrochar – east of metal bridge; Laggan Sands; Arrochar Shore; West Bay;

Dundee – Broughty Ferry East End; Beach Broughty Ferry;

East Lothian – Fisherrow;

Edinburgh – Wardie Bay Beach;

Fife – Blacksands; Kinghorn Harbour; Leven; Limekilns Brucehaven Road, West of Sailing Club; Limekilns Car Park beach; Limekilns Red Row Beach (East of Pier); Maidens Rock Beach; St Bridget’s Kirk; Tentsmuir Point National  Nature Reserve; West Bay – Earlsferry;

Inverclyde – Lunderston Bay;

Moray – Spey Bay;

Ross-shire – Nigg;

Scottish Borders – Coldingham Sands; Eyemouth; Killiedraughts Bay; Linkim Shore;

West Lothian – Bo’ness; Grangepans.

Each event only takes a couple of hours and, alongside the clean, 100 metres of beach are surveyed. The form is straightforward to complete, and helps MCS to add to the local and UK litter data picture, as well as the global view.

Each clean-up has an organiser so there’s plenty of advice on the day on how to fill in the simple data sheets. This information will be used by MCS to work with governments and industry in the charity’s ongoing work to stop litter getting on to our beaches in the first place.

To get involved in the 25th Great British Beach Clean in Scotland and be part of the most influential fight against marine litter in the UK click HERE.

You can also speak to the team on 01989 566017.