Volunteers from far and wide descended upon Eyemouth last weekend armed with litter pickers, gloves and bin bags to clean-up Eyemouth Harbour and surrounding area.
Assisted by the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve, Eyemouth and District Initiative members and Eyemouth Harbour Trust trustees and staff, the volunteers cleared an incredible two whole van loads of rubbish which had been blown, washed or dropped in and around Eyemouth Harbour.
The clean-up operation was sparked by Eyemouth Initiative’s Becca Hayman, who was disheartened by the amount of rubbish she saw on a daily basis in and around Eyemouth Harbour.
She said: “I love living in Eyemouth, but often despair as I walk around and see rubbish blowing about. I thought the clean-up idea would be a fun way for the community to get together and do something positive for the place we all care about so much.”
Becca contacted Marine Ranger Georgia Conolly at the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve and together they hatched a plan for the clean-up operation.
Georgia explained: “Marine litter poses a serious threat for beach users – both human and wildlife, so when Becca contacted me and told me she had a team of volunteers who were willing to help sort it out, I was thrilled.”
There was a fantastic turnout for the event on Sunday, March 11, with over 30 volunteers giving up their morning for the cause. One group of volunteers, who are regular divers in the area, even travelled from as far as Yorkshire to take part while others came from the Borders and Eyemouth itself.
The volunteers split into three clean-up teams. Team 1, led by Eyemouth Harbour Master Ivan Stevenson, tackled the rocks at the entrance to the Harbour which catch lots of rubbish in amongst the cracks and crevices. This team managed to collect the most amount of rubbish, filling a whole van between them! Team 2, led by Georgia, were assigned to the rocks behind the lifeboat mooring. This team again managed to collect lots of rubbish – some of which looked as though it had been wedged in between the rocks for many years. Team 3, led by Becca, headed over to the Gunsgreen and Greenends Gully areas where lots of rubbish is dropped or blown to by the wind.
After an hour’s hard litter picking, all three teams reconvened at Cafe Questo for a well deserved cup of tea and piece of cake. Prizes were distributed for the largest, heaviest and most unusual items which had been collected: a sleeping bag, an oil drum and a paintbrush respectively. The most common items collected were plastic drinks bottles.
Harbour Master Ivan Stevenson said the event demonstrated just what can be achieved when the community works together, and thanked organisers and those who took part on the day.
He said: “It was fantastic that so many people from far and near made the effort to get involved in the clean-up and we were amazed at the amount of rubbish collected and at some of unusual items that were found!
“Unfortunately, rubbish gets washed into the harbour from the sea and from down the river as well as dropped and blown in and it gets trapped in the rocks on the foreshore.”
More clean-ups are planned over the coming months. If you would like to get involved, contact Georgia Conolly on (018907) 71443 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, you can help out by making sure you dispose of your rubbish properly by recycling it or putting in a bin.