More than six tonnes of litter removed from Bute’s beaches

Beachwatch Bute ranger Sandra MacMillan, left, pictured at Ettrick Bay with Sandra Stevenson, one of the charity's committee members.
Beachwatch Bute ranger Sandra MacMillan, left, pictured at Ettrick Bay with Sandra Stevenson, one of the charity's committee members.

More than six tonnes of marine litter - plus other items such as a dead porpoise, two dead seals, an old boiler, a fridge and a TV set - have been removed from Bute’s beaches in the last 12 months.

The statistics were provided by Sandra MacMillan, beach ranger for local charity Beachwatch Bute, in her annual report for the organisation’s AGM this week.

Other items removed from the island’s shoreline included wheels, tyres and gas cylinders, while items such as fish boxes, bread trays, ropes, five-gallon drums and fishing nets, were removed and recycled in the course of the year, while a dead calf washed in on the tide at Ettrick Bay was buried nearby shortly after the turn of the year.

In addition to donations from several individuals and the proceeds from donation boxes at various locations around the island, Beachwatch’s funds were also boosted by cheques for £640 from Ettrick Bay Tearoom owners Sandy and Alec Gibson following a Pirate Fun Day on the beach in May, and by £529 raised in a raffle at a ceilidh with The Vatersay Boys at Rothesay Pavilion in September.

Sandra, who was appointed to the post nine years ago, said: “It still makes me very proud to be doing this job for the charity and seeing it grow each year, becoming increasingly successful and making such a difference to the island’s beaches and coastline.”

* More from Beachwatch Bute’s annual meeting in the next issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, March 24.