My Beach Your Beach Year 3 Report published
Funded by the Scottish Government and run in collaboration with SEPA, the summer campaign has been active at a growing number of target bathing waters since 2018. It aims to address community sources of bathing water contamination -namely dog poo, gull poo and litter on and near the beach.
This year the campaign was very different, as it adapted to the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.
Campaign officer Georgina Massouraki said: ‘We made the decision early on to focus a lot more on local beach users and make this summer’s campaign about celebrating and appreciating the beach. Lockdown meant that people were spending a lot more time in their local outdoor spaces, so we wanted to build on this, whilst encouraging them to take better care of this precious resource’
Lockdown restrictions also meant that the campaign was run almost exclusively online, including the popular #DoggyAmbassador competition, although eye-catching ‘My Beach, Your Beach’ posters still featured at all sites.
Through this approach, the campaign achieved significant reach and engagement, whilst finding new ways to raise awareness of bathing water quality issues and put them into context for local beach users. At the end of the campaign, polling found that an average of 69% of beach locals said they were willing to pick up litter when visiting the beach in order to leave it cleaner than they found it.
Georgina added ‘We don’t know what next summer will bring, but we look forward to building on what we’ve learned this year for our future campaign work. Hopefully, next summer we’ll be able to run beach clean events in some form and engage more with beach users, as well as the local community’.
28 January 2021