Did you know Scotland has over 10% of Europe’s total coastline?
With over 790 islands, Scotland is home to all kinds of marine wildlife; bottlenose dolphins, 82 species of whale, and even 43% of all the breeding seabirds in Europe!
However our beautiful Scottish coastlines are causing chaos; marine creatures are becoming entangled in discarded fishing nets or accidentally eating litter.
Here at Timberbush Tours, we decided to dust off our wellies and turn the tide on marine waste! That’s why we decided to get involved in the Big Beach Clean-up at Cramond on Monday the 11th of May.
The weather proved promising first thing with the sun shining high and the wind, thankfully, being at a light breeze. When we arrived at the Big Beach Clean-up we met with representatives of the Marine Conservation Society upon our arrival where it was explained how we would tackle the area, how to take notes of what we find and what we should come to expect in the form of rubbish and debris (more on that later). After a few words from MSP Colin Keir, who gave thanks for everyone volunteering their time and the importance of reporting back our findings as this is all ammunition to have better support for such endeavours from Parliament!
With our mass of participants broken down into smaller teams, we had the following implements at the ready; clip board to document findings, waste bags, litter pickers and, most importantly, gloves. As we tackled our section of the Big Beach clean-up it was immediately apparent that this was not going to be an easy task for all involved.
As we began searching for rubbish we found that it wasn’t cans or plastic that was the main culprit but wet wipes… lots and lots of wet wipes! Those innocent sheets when wrongly flushed down the toilet have ended up here on Cramond beach, on masse. Our note taker was inundated with reports of finding these cloths, so much so that we required a new sheet of paper to continue to record how many we found.
Unfortunately our day was cut short as there was a swift change in the sunshine on high and the aforementioned gentle breeze, as the rain began to pelt down upon us from out of nowhere (the joys of Scottish weather). We took our multiple sacks of rubbish back to base camp whilst keeping a keen eye out for any rubbish that may have been missed. Once there we found that the Big Beach Clean-up had collected more than 432kg of rubbish, almost half a tonne, in total. Quite the worrying amount I’m sure you will agree.
It was fulfilling to play an active part in the scheme, despite being soaked through due to the rain, it doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels though. We will continue to do what we can as a company and we will continue to invest our time and effort into schemes such as the one and hopefully we shall see you there.
For more details on the Big Beach Clean-up and their events across Scotland please visit https://www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/