- 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
- 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?
The first challenge was practical. Normally, what brings a campaign to life is the activity on the ground: beach cleans, community events, chatting to people, surveying, taking photographs, getting a sense for things; chance encounters and conversations that provide inspiration and opportunities for connection; trying things out. But now we were in lockdown. At the time we could barely leave the house, let alone visit the beach and mingle. Whether there would even be a campaign was still up in the air until almost the last minute.
Indeed, with this platform of positivity and engagement in place, we could then start to unfold conversations about the water quality and the habits on and near the beach that can affect it. Even I -an avid beach lover- had not realised before this campaign what an impact dog and gull poo can have on water quality. Nor did I quite understand how blockages in pipes and drains could lead to serious water contamination by causing overflows and flooding. This is the point of My Beach, Your Beach: to raise awareness and encourage everyone to take better care.
Lessons for the future
In the end, even though we didn’t get out to the beaches until the very end of the summer, we still managed to reach a significant number of people, with nearly 80% of those surveyed saying they’d seen the campaign and would like to see more of it in the future.
Campaigning remotely meant that we found new ways of using social media to target and connect to new audiences. Of course, nothing beats activity on the ground and its absence was felt not just in terms of campaign engagement, but also in building the vital local relationships that normally underpin a campaign like this; local authorities, beach managers or of course the amazing local community groups at each site, who work tirelessly to take care of their places all year round. Doing a beach clean together is better than a thousand emails. We look forward to hopefully getting out in person next year, but at the same time are excited to integrate some of what we learned about campaigning online, to deliver a more blended and ultimately stronger approach.
Another positive outcome of this year’s campaign was the more beach-specific content that we developed in a bid to engage people online. Leading with celebration and inviting locals to help shape the campaign with contributions and feedback proved to be a great foundation for engaging people with the core campaign messages around bathing water quality too. Going forward we will look to bring this approach offline as well -what better place to celebrate the beach than right there, on the shore!
Finally, travel restrictions meant that we explored new ways of monitoring impact -a crucial part of any campaign. Although we did make it out in September for a snapshot litter survey at each site, we had hoped to harness the power of locals on the ground for this, by using our new citizen science resource. Although we did not get much uptake this year, we still think it is a great way not only to gather data -more than we could ever hope to gather on our own- but also for people to engage with and help tackle their local litter issues.
Litter counts are a fun day out (we think so anyway!) and essential for building an accurate picture of what is going on at each site. Hopefully by next summer we will be in a better position to make citizen science an integral part of the campaign.
Now, over the coming months we will be getting into gear to develop next year’s campaign. In doing so, we will take these lessons forward, refreshing our messaging and collateral, developing new activities and engagement opportunities and planning for collaboration with local stakeholders, from community groups to businesses and schools. Look out for the Young Reporter – Beach Edition programme and have a stab at our citizen science litter count -your data inputs from across Scotland are valuable all year round. We don’t know what the next bathing season will bring, but no matter what we look forward to working with beach lovers, be it locals or visitors, to learn, explore and celebrate our beaches and make sure that the sand and sea are kept clean for everyone to enjoy.