A summer of learning, celebrating and caring for our beaches
Every summer since 2018 the campaign has worked to raise awareness of bathing water quality and the role that people can play, whether on the beach or at home, to protect the sand and sea. From feeding gulls to leaving litter and dog mess behind, seemingly simple habits can cause pollution and put both water quality and our beach experience at risk.
In previous years, the campaign has been successful in significantly reducing the incidence of litter and dog fouling. Campaign sites saw litter levels 65% lower on average in the second year of the campaign, as compared to pre-campaign levels.
My Beach Your Beach will continue to raise awareness of the potential impact on water quality by dog fouling and encouraging gulls by feeding and leaving litter. In addition, this year, My Beach Your Beach aims to ensure that beaches are not negatively impacted by increased use by locals and visitors alike as lockdown eases.
A total of six beaches have been selected for the campaign this year, including two new ones. Troon and Irvine beaches join Ayr, Kinghorn, Portobello and Fisherrow Sands in welcoming 'My Beach, Your Beach' to their shores this summer.
Research confirms the strong link between behaviour on the land and the cleanliness of the local seawater, so this year, the Year of Coasts and Waters, the campaign is more poignant that ever as we see some of our favourite sites facing unprecedented pressures as more people holiday in Scotland, consume more single-use and take-away food and find services, such as toilets and bin provisions, limited.
Paul Wallace, our Campaigns and Innovation Manager said, “We are delighted to be bringing My Beach Your Beach, with a difference, back to Scottish Beaches this year. At a time when we have all reconnected with our local spaces, and are starting to visit sites further away for leisure, we know that if the sun comes out our beaches could bear the brunt of a wave of anti-social behaviour.
“The 2020 campaign will take community engagement on-line and encourage those who live locally to get involved and celebrate their beach. But we will still be ensuring the campaign has a presence on the beach too – with the familiar campaign artwork appearing on bins and at key business locations.
“We’re calling for people who are #LuckyToLiveHere and love their local beach to get involved and celebrate what is on the doorstep”
In addition to old campaign favourites like the doggy ambassador competition and business support packs, new activities for 2020 will include surveys for local people to monitor the litter and dog fouling levels, a Young Reporters competition and educational resources that celebrate the beach.
Find out more about how you can get involved and contribute to the campaign on your local beach at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/mybeachyourbeach
15 July 2020