4. Beach Clean at Stoer Beach 5th August 2015

If you go down to Stoer beach today

It is amazing the difference 90 minutes can make. That was the overwhelming opinion following an Assynt Field Club organised beach clean at Stoer beach on 5th August.

Before the start of the clean the most recent high tide line was a rainbow of plastic rope and bottles of all shapes and sizes. A closer look and the remains of toys, cigarette lighters, gloves, bottle tops and, strangest of all, dozens of used shotgun cartridges were there too amongst the seaweed and rocks. No one present could be sure where all the cartridges could have come from, any ideas?

Worryingly, one thing was certain all this plastic came from man’s activities and it is polluting the world’s seas and oceans; is killing our marine animals and, because it simply breaks down to smaller and smaller pieces but never ‘disappears’, is being ingested by and found in filter feeding marine life. So if you enjoy certain shellfish then you could be ingesting someone’s discarded plastic!

However, the 40 residents, visitors and passers-by of all ages that turned up at the beach clean did have a huge impact on the litter, at this one location at least. A simple piece of arithmetic is 40 people for 90 minutes equals 3600 minutes or 60 hours of effort freely and willingly given – a fantastic commitment and a great result.

The Field Club would to thank Loch Duart Ltd. for their generous supply of protective gloves; Highland Council Rangers, Andy and Roz Summers, for the use of their ‘gazebo’ which allowed several interesting ‘finds’ to be looked at and soft drinks and biscuits to be enjoyed at the end; Highland Council again for the brilliant ‘community skip’ service they offer for this type of activity, but mostly our thanks go to all of those who gave of their time and effort on the day, many many thanks.

The beach cleaners. Photo D. Haines
The beach cleaners. Photo D. Haines
A very full skip. Photo D. Haines
A very full skip. Photo D. Haines

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