We are very fortunate to have such a beautiful beach here at Spey Bay (the largest shingle beach in all of Scotland in fact!), but sadly like many other beaches up and down the coastline marine litter is constantly washing up on shore. So on the 20th September the Scottish Dolphin Centre participated in the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) Great British Beach Clean to help clean up Spey Bay beach.
We are very grateful to the 42 volunteers who turned up to help us including some girls from the Second Fochabers Brownie group, Calum Duncan the Scotland Programme Manager for MCS and Richard Lochhead our local MSP. It was great so many people turned up, especially as Richard is also the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the Scottish Government –giving us a brilliant opportunity to show him how much people care about the marine environment. We even had help from Catherine Gemmell from MCS; unbelievably we were her 11th and final beach clean in 30 hours, covering 400 miles around Scotland’s coasts.
Between all our fabulous volunteers we collected an amazing 42.5kg of rubbish from only a small stretch of our beach. As our volunteers were surveying all the rubbish they picked up we know that the most abundant type of litter on Spey Bay beach is plastic as you might expect! But we did find some rather more unusual things out on the beach including a shoe heel, some eye drops, a lump of tar, tent pegs and a 24kg piece of rusty rope! Over 400 pieces of rubbish were collected in total.
After all the cleaning was completed, everyone who took part was rewarded with a free drink to say thank you and to help them relax after a hard day on the beach. I would also like to say thank you to the café for providing all our volunteers with drinks despite it being a busy Sunday afternoon. Most importantly though one last thank you to everyone who turned up and helped clean our beach and helped to make the marine environment just that little bit safer for all the wildlife out there.
By Charlotte Wells (Summer Events and Guide Volunteer at the Scottish Dolphin Centre)