East Haven Together
A blog post by Wendy Murray
- Smashing litter picking targets during an unexpected stay in Scotland
- Keeping our communities beautiful
- Celebrating our brilliant volunteers
- Designing a pocket garden
- Getting to know... Nicola Smith
- It’s time to litter-ly turn anger into action
- Working in partnership to give communities a helping hand to clean up Scotland
- Why Beautiful Scotland is important to Lauder in Bloom
- We can all be climate ready
- Climate Ready Classrooms at Speyside High School
- Taking part in It's Your Neighbourhood
- Bags of opportunity for good
- Getting to know... Eve Keepax
- Lucky to live here
- A year of opportunity ahead
- How I’m trying to waste less this Christmas
- Unmasking a looming litter emergency
- Getting to know... Brian Rae
- A Canal College® journey
- Volunteering during a pandemic
- Applauding the unsung heroes who manage our award winning parks and beaches
- Socially distant but learning together
- Getting to know.......Lisa Snedden
- Waste vs the pandemic: finding a new normal for single-use cups
- Now is the time to change
- Could the Global Goals provide a framework for the green recovery?
- Getting to know....Connor Launder
- Our incredible Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood community
- Getting to know our people behind Climate Ready Classrooms
- Lockdown litter - a community view
- Looking after beaches
- Time for a more sustainable future, a greener and fairer one for all
- Getting to know.....Claire Gibson
- The Origins of George Wyllie's 'Original Earth Guarantee'
- Getting to know... Aoife Hutton
- National disgrace of lockdown litter
- The healing power of local places
- Tackling Covid-19 and climate change at a community level
- Amid the Coronavirus crisis the climate emergency has not gone away
- Bringing environmental education home
- #TurdTag – getting creative to tackle dog poo
- Preparing young people to take action on climate change
- Running on community power
- Reconnecting with nature
- Coronavirus isn't an excuse - flytipping is still a crime
- Sowing seeds of hope in our community
- Hope for the environment post-Coronavirus?
- From Eco-School Committee to environmental charity
- You can’t tackle the climate crisis unless you are climate ready
- Why everyone wins when you take part in Beautiful Scotland
- Entering our third decade with a splash
- Is 2020 the year for a circular economy in Scotland?
- A year in the life of: the campaigns and innovation team
- Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime
- Setting sail: all aboard the partnership
- Free wheeling
- Scotland is thirsty for change
- This #ScotClimateWeek, are you ready to pledge?
- Upstream Battle at Whinhill Primary School
- Elaine Hopley on our Upstream Battle week of action
- 20 September climate strikes: what took place and what happens now?
- Playing our part to reduce cup waste
- The funeral of a glacier: time to pull the emergency brake
- Get your Paws on Plastic
- Arran – exploring its hidden gems
- It’s time to take action to reverse climate change
- Monitoring litter to help keep Scotland beautiful
- Tackling Our Unsustainable Cup Consumption
- Cups hitting the ground: what we learned at TRNSMT Festival
- We All Have To Fight The UpStream Battle
- It's rubbish that people have to clean up after litter bugs
- The power of pocket gardens
- Registering your clean up makes a difference
- Tackling climate change starts at home
- Speaking the language of Carbon Literacy
- The life of a Keep Scotland Beautiful intern
- Wheatley Group: two years on and still going strong
- Roadside Litter: Think twice before you chuck
- Our citizen scientists are ready to make waves for Upstream Battle
- Taking a stand on climate change – what actions will you take?
- The Cup Movement will tackle our litter culture head on
- Working across borders to tackle climate change
- Celebrating 25 years of Eco-Schools in Scotland
- Climate change – it’s personal
- Putting young people first for our environment at Keep Scotland Beautiful
- Treading lightly – steps to lower our carbon footprint
- Aunty Babs washes her spoon and so should you
- Climate change: we can all do our bit
- Have yourself a green Christmas
- Shifting up a gear on Scotland’s roadside litter problem
- It’s time to consign our litter problem to the dustbin of history
- We can save our seas by starting at home
- Everyone can do their bit to protect the world – what’s your Goal?
Wendy Murray from East Haven Together in Angus, shares with us why the group takes part in Beautiful Scotland and why this and some of the other programmes we run, has been so important in helping the village address and overcome local environmental quality and sustainability issues.
East Haven is a former fishing community on the Angus coast and has a population of around 90 residents. In order to understand the transformation that East Haven has made, it is important to understand where its journey began in 2013. At that time, the village had suffered from years of neglect and was affected by littering of all types, graffiti and vandalism. The only facility in the village was a public toilet block which was built in the 1970s and had become a focus for anti-social behaviour.
In 2012, National Cycle Network 1 was extended to run through East Haven and onwards up the coast to Arbroath. Visitors told residents that they were appalled at the appearance of the village and one person said it was worst place he had ever set foot in. People said that the public toilets were dirty and offensive. Residents realised that unless they were prepared to do something about it themselves, the problems would only get worse and not better. As the village was going to be 800 years old in 2014, we decided to consult with residents and the wider community to identify priorities for improvement.
People were not short of ideas and responses were grouped into key themes:
- Enhancing and improving the village and its natural environment
- Strengthening the identity of the village as an ancient fishing community
- Creating a lasting legacy involving a theme of fishing boats and flowers
- Enhancing the visitor experience
- Encouraging pride and respect
Having encouraged people to share their views and ideas, I began to feel quite daunted at the prospect of putting together an action plan to try and achieve on everybody’s priorities. As luck would have it, I spoke to somebody a few days later who suggested that I look at the Beautiful Scotland three pillar framework of horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.
This was definitely a eureka moment when suddenly everything became much clearer in terms of what we had to do and how it could be achieved. We used the three pillar framework to develop an action plan for taking forward everybody’s ideas and ambitions for 2014. I have to be honest and say that it didn’t initially occur to us that we might also enter the Beautiful Scotland competition that first year. Indeed, a few people actually said that we should not participate as the village had a long way to go before achieving Beautiful Scotland standard. However, as time went by, we began to feel more confident and more empowered as a community. We had a chat with Juliette (who leads on Beautiful Scotland) and decided that we would enter the competition. We wanted to show people what we had achieved and demonstrate that even communities like ours can make change happen.
Despite all our bravado, we were incredibly nervous on that first judging day in 2014. Thankfully, we were soon put at our ease by the judges who were very friendly and offered lots of useful tips and advice. It is hard to describe how overjoyed we were to subsequently learn that East Haven had achieved a Silver Gilt medal and a discretionary award - the VisitScotland Award for Tourism.
In the years that followed, East Haven progressed to achieving Beautiful Scotland Gold medals, as well as further discretionary awards and being crowned best Coastal Village in a number of years. In 2018, we had the privilege of being selected by Keep Scotland Beautiful to represent Scotland in the Coastal (under 12,000) category in the UK-wide RHS Britain in Bloom competition. Again, to our utter astonishment and amazement we were awarded Gold and the Best Coastal Village in category.
I think East Haven’s story is one which should inspire any community to believe that they have the power to create change and make a difference to where they live. In 2019 and 2020, East Haven participated in It’s Your Neighbourhood which enabled us to continue to benefit from the support of Keep Scotland Beautiful’s volunteer Assessors. It also provided us with the opportunity to focus on wider projects in the village for a while. However, in 2021 we will participate in Beautiful Scotland again as we feel this will help people in the recovery from the pandemic. The important thing for East Haven is to maintain our connection with everybody at Keep Scotland Beautiful and the many friends we have made along the way.