Mass clean up efforts at Ayr, Portobello and Fisherrow Beaches

More than 200 people gathered at Ayr Beach, Portobello and Fisherrow Sands this weekend to take part in a major clean ups, removing over 60 bags of litter in total.

Earlier this summer, the three beaches were selected for our My Beach, Your Beach campaign in an effort to improve the quality of its bathing water and raise awareness of the link between behaviour on the land and the cleanliness of the local seawater.

Working with local groups at each location, we supported three beach cleans this weekend to tie in with Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean 14-17th September.

The weekend kicked off at Portobello beach on Friday (15th September) with 35 volunteers braving heavy rain to fine-comb the beach of litter. Efforts stretched from central Portobello to the Seafield end on West Portobello. The group included staff from Scottish Water who joined with local volunteers to tackle the litter:

Scott Fraser, Regional Corporate Affairs Manager at Scottish Water, said:

“Scottish Water is committed to helping improve the bathing water quality at Portobello and Fisherrow. We are currently undertaking marine investigations to determine the best option to help improve the water quality at these beaches.

“Alongside Keep Scotland Beautiful’s work encouraging people to make the right choices when it comes to litter and dog fouling, we hope that our combined efforts will see improvements in bathing water quality in these communities.”

On Sunday (16th September) in Ayr, a huge turn out of 150 volunteers rallied by local group, Environmental Volunteers Ayrshire (EVA), were led by life-sized litter mascots to cover 2.5 miles of beach from the Harbour down to Greenan Castle. In attendance were representatives from local schools, church groups, Alloway Rotary and some participants had even travelled through from Glasgow.

 Cllr Siobhian Brown from Environmental Volunteers Ayrshire, said:

 “We were delighted by the turnout at The Big Beach Clean in Ayr this weekend. The enthusiasm and motivation of all the volunteers was tremendous and it was great to see people from all walks of life come together to care for this great beach we have right on our doorstep. Environmental Volunteers Ayrshire will continue to work alongside Keep Scotland Beautiful to help keep our coastline clean.”

Meanwhile in Fisherrow Sands, Fisherrow Waterfront Group and Eskmuthe Rowing Club led volunteers in a clean up of the Musselburgh shoreline.

Aoife Hutton, Community Projects Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented:

“We were really pleased to support the efforts to clean up the beach at Ayr, Portobello and Fisherrow Sands. The My Beach Your Beach campaign has helped to raise awareness of the potential impact that dog fouling, feeding gulls, and littering, can have on water quality. We are delighted to see so many people come out in force and help to maintain Ayr beach.

“We can all play a part in cleaning up bathing waters, improving the experience at the seaside for locals and visitors alike. Whilst visitor behaviour is only part of the solution, by bagging and binning dog poo, not feeding the gulls and taking our litter home, we can all help make the water cleaner for everybody to enjoy.”


Calum McPhail, Environment Scientist Manager of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said:

“By targeting behaviour on beachfront areas that can affect bathing water quality, Keep Scotland Beautiful’s ‘My Beach, Your Beach’ campaign complements SEPA’s work to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment. We are delighted to be supporting this beach clean, and it’s great to see so many local people get involved.”

The My Beach Your Beach campaign, funded by the Scottish Government, is led by Keep Scotland Beautiful and sits alongside existing work by the charity, including our annual Beach Awards which set the standard for coastlines and inland shores across Scotland.

17 September 2018

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