In 2020 we had a number of beach cleans planned but with the pandemic we had to postpone them until this summer. So various members of the team completed two cleans at Rattray Head, just south of Loch of Strathbeg and one at St Combs, both on and off reserve. They weren’t the busiest of beach cleans we’ve done but it was good to get out and help keep our local beaches clean.

On the 26th June Kat and Ed were at Rattray and despite it just being the two of them they were able to collect a decent wee haul of litter in a couple of hours.

Our trusty wheelbarrows were put to work! Kat Suchecka

Ed in action. Kat Suchecka

On the 17th July we were at the beach at St Combs on what turned out to be one of the sunniest days we’ve had up here this year and our two intrepid volunteers were treated to temperatures of at least 26C for the beach clean! Shorts, hats, short sleeves and sunblock was the order of the day.  There were many other people enjoying the weather at the beach, sunbathing, swimming and paddle boarding. (Swimming and paddle boarding are not unheard of but the north east weather doesn’t normally encourage sunbathing!).

Despite there only being 4 of us, we managed to collect a decent pile of rubbish from the beach. Most was gathered on the rockier areas, with lots of fishing debris – ropes, net filaments etc. However, there are always interesting things to find, dolls heads, toy aeroplane wings and disposable razors to name a few.

The beach was much cleaner than it sometimes is and we have to say thank you to folk in the local St Combs community who have been tidying in their own time.

This way! Ed Grace

Volunteer Kim busy collecting. Ed Grace

Our haul. Ed Grace

In contrast, the 28th July was one of the wettest days we’ve had this summer and Ed got soaked but he persisted and was able to make sure some rubbish didn’t return to the sea. He also had some interesting finds along the way.

Rattray Head Lighthouse. Ed Grace

How old do you reckon this Fairy bottle is? Ed Grace

This work was possible due to the generous support of SC Johnson and is part of 2021 Year of Coasts and Waters.