“Heroes Wanted!” ~ The Great Scilly Spring Clean 2017
Monday 13th February 2017
Porth Hellick Beach Clean - Photo ~ BareFoot Photographer
It is estimated that 35.8 million plastic bottles are used and discarded in the UK each day, with only a little over half being recycled. Sadly bottle parts and caps are some of the commonest items of marine litter found on our beaches so the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust has taken the baton (or should that be re-usable bottle?) from Island’s Partnership to organise the 2017 Great Scilly Spring Clean. The aim is to collect as much debris as possible, with a special focus on plastic bottles.
The Trust is pleased to announce that events are scheduled to take place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th March coinciding, once again, with the Keep Britain Tidy Great British Spring Clean campaign; aiming to bring communities together across the country with the sole purpose of removing litter from our landscapes.
This year individuals and businesses across Scilly are being encouraged to metaphorically don their tights, masks, capes and superhero pants for the Heroes Wanted! campaign; although if anyone literally wants to dress up for the events then please don’t let us stop you!
“As we prepare for the season ahead this will be the first of many opportunities throughout the year to give our Islands’ beaches a bit of T.L.C. and to help look after our marine environment and wildlife in the process” says Sarah Mason, Chief Executive Isles of Scilly Wildlife, “The Great Scilly Spring Clean focuses on our five inhabited Islands but we (at the Trust) are also in the process of arranging for cleans to take place on some of our uninhabited Islands during the spring and summer months too.”
In addition to our usual heroes – the Council of the Isles of Scilly, Duchy of Cornwall Harbour Team, Islands’ Partnership and the Wildlife Trust - we are once again being joined, on St Mary’s, by the Women’s Institute. We are also pleased to announce that Surfer’s Against Sewage are joining the (beach) party this year as well; Lydia Titterton, Local Representative Surfers Against Sewage, stated “This is so exciting! Yes I’d love to be part of the Spring Clean”.
Each of these organisations is taking responsibility to lead a clean on at least one St Mary’s beach, whilst Off-Island beach cleans are being led by the St Martin’s Island Group (Anna Cawthray), Tresco Island (Tom Matthews & Rachel Young), Emma Eberlein on St Agnes and our youngest recruit and Clean Leader, Chessen Pender, from Island Fish, Bryher.
Local businesses across the Islands are also supporting the cleans by opening to give volunteers what will no doubt be much needed warm drinks and snacks following the beach cleans; they include The Wheelhouse, Glandore Gallery, Sevenstones Inn, Hell Bay Hotel, the New Inn and Coastguard’s Café.
“This year Clean Leaders are again being asked to feed back the number of bags of rubbish that have been collected from their cleans; these figures will be collated and uploaded to the Great British Spring Clean Website, where all the Island beach cleans have been registered,” shared Nikki Banfield, Communications Officer Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust.
Nikki adds “Clean Leaders are also being asked to report back the number of plastic bottles collected during their cleans. These numbers will then be logged with the Marine Conservation Society who are currently gathering evidence of #WildBottleSightings to support the introduction of a much needed plastic bottle deposit return scheme throughout the UK. With the estimated 35.8 million plastic bottles used in the UK each day, a large number of which not being recycled, it’s a no-brainer to be part of this national campaign for the health of our beaches, seas and marine wildlife”.
Last year the Scilly Spring Clean events were attended by 253 people and a total of 433 bags of rubbish were collected! With cleans taking place on 13 or more beaches across the Islands we hope that we can match (if not beat) these figures this year; not that we’re competitive!
So keep an eye out for posters detailing the times and locations of cleans, turn up, take part and be a hero!
Bags and a limited number of gloves will be available at each of the cleans; however you may wish to bring your own gloves if you have them.
For further information:
Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01720 422153
Beach Clean Timetable (Please see attachments for individual Island posters)
Saturday 4th March
10:30 – 12:00 PorthLoo (Led by Women’s Institute)
10:30 – 12:00 Shark’s Pit (Led by Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust)
14:00 – 15:30 Town Beach (Led by Islands’ Partnership)
14:00 – 15:30 PorthCressa (Led by Council of the Isles of Scilly)
14:00 – 15:30 Halangy & Toll’s Porth (Led by Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust)
Sunday 5th March
11:00 – 12:30 WaterMill (Led by Surfer’s Against Sewage)
14:00 – 15:30 PorthMellon (Led by Duchy of Cornwall Harbour Team)
14:00 – 15:30 Porth Hellick (Led by Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust)
10:30 – 12:30 Bryher (Meet at the Community Centre)
10:30 – 12:30 St Martin’s (Meet at the Island Hall)
10:30 – 13:30 Tresco (Meet at Smith Square)
14:15 – 16:45 St Agnes (Meet at the Reading Room)
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