Entering our third decade with a splash
A blog post by Tom Brock
- Tackling the litter emergency to protect our wild isles
- Scotland isn't looking so beautiful. We can change that.
- Get to know... Green Flag Award Judges
- Collaboration and innovation to tackle marine litter
- An introduction to Kinnesswood in Bloom...
- The litter emergency
- Our charity faces the environmental challenges ahead with optimism
- Wrapping up 2022
- Biodiversity - Reflections on COP15
- Small steps to protect biodiversity
- Why Mountains Matter
- It’s not just bees and butterflies on your flowers
- Wet Wipes - What's the Issue?
- Young Reporters on the Route: The Launch of Running Out of Time
- Getting to know... Tom Brock OBE
- Getting to know...Kyle Usher
- A busy day for Upstream Battle education
- Planning a Wedding with the Planet in Mind
- 'Disposable' vapes and the damage they cause
- Climate Emergency Training provides positive opportunities for young people
- Making climate action possible for everyone
- Reasons to be positive
- Shotts is ACTing NOW on climate change
- Hope is a Garden
- Do we need the word 'pests' anymore?
- Beautiful Scotland judging - the truth
- Supporting Scotland to be the very greenest destination it can be
- Arbroath - working together, inspiring local climate action and improving lives
- Reflections of a beach manager
- I do like to be beside the seaside
- Climate Action Schools - helping young people take action
- Inspiring and empowering young people
- Climate Ready Classrooms at George Heriot's
- Data drives decisions
- Litter, fines and doing time
- Why our Web Developer Cameron loves being part of Team KSB
- It's only one
- Why join the family of It’s Your Neighbourhood?
- YoungScot Legacy Event
- Why it is the sea and SDG 14 for me
- Litter picking - a surprisingly fun group activity
- Climate Action Skills and positive action for all
- Seeing community groups thrive with Beautiful Scotland and It's Your Neighbourhood
- (What to do on) a dreich morning on the Firth of Clyde
- West Lothian Litter Pickers – How I got involved
- Scotland’s Climate Festival – Seed funding for community action
- Climate Ready Classrooms at St. Paul’s RC High School
- Scottish Book Trust representative joins Pocket Garden judging panel
- Have #YourSayOnLitter - we plan to...
- Everyone has something to say about litter – time to make it count
- Who ya gonna call?
- Why I pick up other people's garbage.
- Getting to Know...Colin
- Creative Careers: Spotlight on Heritage #NoWrongPath
- Celebrating Scotland’s best managed green and blue spaces
- Taking small steps towards a more sustainable future
- Caring for our planet
- Football’s Power to Combat Climate Change
- Our work on the COP26 Youth Climate Programme
- What’s litter got to do with climate change?
- Scotland’s Climate Festival kicks off in Falkirk
- Responsible Tourism – an opportunity not to be missed
- Climate Change Vlog by Dalry Primary School
- Failing our future?
- Our Week of Climate Action
- #ScotClimateWeek - our impacts and actions
- Protecting the sand and sea
- Another fine mess – part one
- Designing a lower carbon Scotland
- Getting to know... Lisa Snedden
- Combating climate change with information, education and training
- Litter picking 500 miles was always Gonna Be easy
- 7K for 7 Flags Challenge
- Littering less at St Joseph's Primary School in Glasgow
- 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
- East Haven Together
- 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
- Unmasking a looming litter emergency
- Getting to know... Brian Rae
- A Canal College® journey
- Getting to know.......Lisa Snedden
- Now is the time to change
- Could the Global Goals provide a framework for the green recovery?
- Our incredible Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood community
- Lockdown litter - a community view
- Looking after beaches
- Time for a more sustainable future, a greener and fairer one for all
- The Origins of George Wyllie's 'Original Earth Guarantee'
- 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
- 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
- It’s time to take action to reverse climate change
- 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
- 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
Our coasts and waters – key to keeping Scotland beautiful
Almost everyone can remember when they were young visiting the coast, a loch, canal, river or burn – running in and out of the freezing water, building dams with water smoothed pebbles, or walking along towpaths or river walkways on cold blustery days.
For those who live, work and visit this country, Scotland’s beauty is something that never fails to inspire. And much of what makes Scotland so spectacular is framed by its waters – castles precariously perched on cliff tops like Tantallon and Dunnottar, lighthouses guiding mariners safely through our seas, sky scraping mountains rising from iconic lochs, birds wheeling above fishing boats, canals reminding us of our industrial heritage and great rivers providing a focus to our bustling cities.
It is water that helps keep Scotland beautiful. A Scotland which our charity aims to conserve and celebrate – work we’ve been doing as a registered Scottish charity for 20 years.
Across the world we have seen countries declare climate and wildlife emergencies and pledge to take international action through the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. There is a commitment to end poverty, hunger, inequality and to protect the environment like never before. But as we enter a new decade, there needs to be a real urgency for genuine action to tackle the threat to our planet and our people.
And so, with 2020 being the Year of Coasts and Waters, we will be making stronger links between our work, the Global Goals and the watery theme to identify ways we can support people to conserve and celebrate our natural environment and wildlife, our historic environment and our cultural heritage.
Natural Environment and Wildlife
Scotland has almost 12,000 miles of coastline, an astounding 800 islands and an amazing 31,000 freshwater lochs. So, wherever you are in Scotland, water isn’t far away. And, where there is water, there is life.
We know that our marine and aquatic environments are clogging up with litter, particularly plastic litter, and that our precious wildlife is suffering. Just recently, a sperm whale died after stranding on the Isle of Harris with a 100kg ‘litter ball’ in its stomach.
It is because of the impact that litter has on our wildlife and environment that we have focussed efforts to support communities across the country to remove it from the places they care about through our Clean Up Scotland campaign.
Last year we saw a 90% increase in litter picks registered with us near a river, canal or beach – helping to stop litter getting into the sea.
In addition to clean ups led by volunteers during 2020, we will be organising at least four big coastal and waterway clean up events. We’ll be encouraging communities to clean up around waterways as part of our Spring Clean 2020 in April and May. And, we’ll be recognising monthly heroes who are going above and beyond to protect our coasts and waters from the blight of litter.
This year, we also plan to build on the success of our award-winning Upstream Battle campaign in the Clyde river catchment to prevent land-based litter entering the sea.
Historic Environment and Cultural Heritage
In 2019, we were privileged to become the custodians of two canal-based heritage programmes, Canal College and Canal Cultural Heritage, previously undertaken by Scottish Waterways Trust.
With 137 miles of canals in Scotland – often providing tranquil green corridors between our thriving communities – the opportunities to visit, restore and appreciate the historic bridges and buildings, locks and towpaths are abundant. With many of these features being over 200 years old, they need constant care and our canal works programme in partnership with Scottish Canals supports volunteers to learn the skills needed to do just that.
Activities and Adventure
At the end of May, we will be announcing the annual winners of the Beach Awards – last year we presented 61 beaches with awards, and this year we are encouraging communities to put their local beaches forward. We want to make sure that we showcase and signpost people to the best managed sites for their adventures – whether that is St Andrews West Sands for a bit of history or kite surfing, or St Ninian’s Isle on Shetland for some wildlife watching, or the only freshwater, and highest beach in the UK, to be awarded at Loch Morlich.
Following two successful years of our My Beach, Your Beach campaign, run in partnership with Scottish Government and SEPA, we hope to relaunch and expand this work to tackle litter, dog fouling, improve bathing water quality and help communities take ownership of the free ‘blue spaces’ so good for their health and wellbeing.
We work with over 200 community groups through our place improvement campaigns (It’s Your Neighbourhood and Beautiful Scotland) and this year we are encouraging entrants to help celebrate the Year of Coasts and Waters, alongside our charity’s 20th birthday.
Food and Drink
Through Eco-Schools Scotland we support teachers and young people to learn about food that is good for us and good for the planet.
Focusing on the food which we can grow and access locally in Scotland, we can all make sure what we eat isn't harming the environment. And with so much wonderful seafood harvested from our productive seas – more than two-thirds of the world's langoustines are landed here in Scotland – this year is a great year to be trying out new Scottish food. We can help you celebrate this, by supporting you to host a One Planet Picnic – which is a fun way to get to know great sustainable foods, and the places and people local to you – while reducing food waste.
Whatever 2020 brings you, whatever adventures you chose to experience, water will never be far away. We will be supporting people, young and old, to respect and look after our country’s environment and our wider planet this year.
We ask that you join us and play your part in keeping Scotland’s coasts and waters beautiful this year too.