Record numbers took part in annual clean-up of beaches and roadsides
More people than ever took part in April’s Voar Redd Up, according to Shetland Amenity Trust which organises the annual event.
A total of 4,157 folk, 19 per cent of the population, helped in the award-winning clean-up of beaches and roadsides.
The volunteers belonged to 226 community groups as well as a number of individuals from every single Shetland community, including all of the outer isles.
It was the highest number of volunteers to take part since its inception, and more than a tenfold increase on the first redd up in 1988 which attracted 400 people.
While the number of volunteers was at an all time high, the amount of bruck collected was at its lowest level since 2000. At the end of June the collected weight was 54 tonnes, over 10 tonnes less than last year and significantly less than the highs of 90 tonnes in 2004 and 2006.
Statistics returned by volunteers have indicated that while some forms of marine litter are up on previous years, such as plastics for example, the overall impression was that in most cases, beach litter and litter along roadsides has noticeably reduced.
Shetland Amenity Trust environment project officer Mick Clifton said: “Considering that the last time we collected less then 54 tonnes of bruck we had 1,657 fewer volunteers than in 2009, this is very good news. In short, more volunteers are collecting less bruck which is an ideal scenario in many ways.
“This is encouraging news for all the agencies continuing to develop and deliver a wide range of litter prevention activities and policies committed to the reduction of marine and land-based litter, such as Shetland Amenity Trust, KIMO, the SIC and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, that the work they put in year round is having an effect.
“However, the event has still removed 54 tonnes of bruck from our shores, beaches, roadsides and other areas which should not have been there. The removal of these materials makes a significant contribution to our natural environment and I would like to thank all the volunteers for their continued support which is so critical to our community. Hopefully one day we can hang up our gloves and bags and enjoy our seas, beaches and landscapes without the blight of litter.”