Volunteers rally for the big Brodick beach clean up

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Words and pictures by Colin Smeeton

More than 55 volunteers – ranging in age from toddlers to pensioners -turned out for the Brodick Bay beach clean where, armed with pickers and bags, they scoured Brodick beach and Fisherman’s Walk, leaving the area looking much cleaner and tidier.

The event last Saturday was organised by Hilary Paton of Cambuslang with the help of Brodick residents Lenny Hartley and Chris Atkins. Arran businesses also offering their support included Homestyles, who provided gloves for the volunteers, and the Brodick Co-op who provided warm food and drinks for the participants. North Ayrshire Council provided bags, pickers and a vehicle for rubbish removal while council employee Euan Rutherford provided his time, knowledge and enthusiasm to the project.

Making a visible difference to the amount of waste and litter on the beach, much of it blown in from the winter’s severe Easterly winds, volunteers picked up more than 50 bags of refuse and waste that was then transported to the municipal dump for proper disposal.

Among the plethora of plastic waste and golf balls found, some of the more unusual items found included a purse containing cash, electricity pylon paraphernalia, bags of firewood and a set of false teeth.

Organiser Hilary Paton said: ‘ A great big thank you to everyone who turned up for the beach clean. It has been a fantastic success with such a large turnout of volunteers, and their families, who have come to show their support.

‘Thank you too must also go to Liz and Carol of the Brodick Co-op and Arran Homestyles. Also North Ayrshire Council and particularly Euan Rutherford who has played a significant part in helping to inspire the volunteers and clear the beach of refuse.’

Hilary Paton, who regularly holidays on Arran and who has been visiting since childhood, decided to arrange the beach clean after seeing the state of the beach and having experience with organising similar events in Cambuslang with the assistance of her local authority, South Lanarkshire Council.

A small selection of the volunteers who cleaned up Brodick Beach and Fisherman’s Walk last weekend.  01_B15beach01

The Popplewell family set to work and make an immediate impact with their excellent teamwork.  01_B15beach02

Leaving no stone unturned, volunteers scour the beach for any discarded or washed up litter. 01_B15beach03

With such large numbers volunteers made quick work of the beach and move towards the tidal lagoon behind the beach. 01_B15beach04

Volunteers search among the seaweed for litter and plastic that has been brought ashore with the tide. 01_B15beach05

Volunteers enjoy a cold drink and snack donated by the Co-op while a van loaded with refuse bags can be seen ready to depart. 01_B15beach06

Organiser Hilary Paton ensures that volunteers have all of the equipment that they need. 01_B15beach07