Arran beach clean assists with marine litter research

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Think About Plastic-Arran (TAP) will be co-ordinating Arran’s contribution to the Great British Beach Clean which collects data as well as beach litter later this month.

The beach clean will take place between Friday September 20 and Monday September 23 where 100m lengths of beaches on Arran will be cleaned and all of the litter recorded and weighed. Data from Arran will add to the Marine Conservation Society’s national database on the condition of our beaches.

Last year over 104 people from organisations and villages all over Arran joined in and this year’s event looks set to be even bigger with more beaches being covered. You can see the result of last year’s data collection on the TAP website and this year’s data will be added so that it can be compared with last year.

Many of the villages and organisations who regularly lead  beach cleans of their own beaches will participate over the weekend. TAP recognise that it is the regular, often daily, work done by individuals and groups which makes the real difference to how our beaches look. This is important to residents and visitors. TAP provides a platform for beach clean organisers to co-ordinate events using the TAP website and is also able to offer expert advice.

However, this is a beach clean with a difference. Working closely with the Marine Conservation Society, Scotland, participants will also be involved in citizen science by helping to survey a stretch of beach and  recording their findings. TAP will collate data from these sample litter surveys to monitor any changes in the type and quantity of litter found on Arran’s beaches. This data will contribute to scientific research and monitoring and used by the Scottish and UK Governments and researchers worldwide to inform policy.

All beaches are risk-assessed and participants are briefed on safety issues by trained leaders. The survey is simple to complete but if you simply want some fresh air and to collect beach litter you are welcome to join in. Beaches are being added all the time so if you’d like to participate in (or lead) a beach clean near you and contribute to this important work go to www.thinkaboutplastic-arran.co.uk for details or to contact TAP.

 

Volunteers help to collect litter on Blackwaterfoot beach. No_B36TAP01