The new chief executive of Shetland Amenity Trust has voiced his delight after witnessing first hand the efforts of those involved in the Voar Redd Up.
Mat Roberts described the annual clear up as “outstanding” and insisted such a community spirit would be unheard of in other parts of the country.
His comments come after the 31st Voar Redd Up was held last week.
Speaking at the trust’s monthly meeting, Mr Roberts described how vast numbers of people had become involved.
Papers before the trust stated that 4,300 volunteers belonging to 220 groups had played their part in the annual clear up.
It comes amid growing efforts to curb the plastics problem, with the Voar Redd Up getting extensive media attention. The BBC’s Springwatch is preparing to film a Redd Up in Scalloway later this month to provide footage for one of its programmes .
“We had an outstanding Redd Up,” said Mr Roberts. “An event like this has the best part of 15 per cent of the population of the community. In an activity like that over the space of a weekend is unheard of. It’s enviable.
“If you went to any other community of this size and said ‘we’re going to go out and and do this with this level of participation, with 15 or 20 per cent of the population involved they wouldn’t believe you.”
Mr Roberts described seeing someone walking down the road and “filling up a bag” everywhere he went while he watched the event unfold.
And he admired the “logistics chain” on the back of the event which ensured the bags of rubbish were removed from where they were left by volunteers.
“It is an incredibly slick, well supported and valued activity.”
Later in the meeting the trust’s environmental improvement officer, Sita Goudie, said Springwatch representatives had come up for a recce visit last week to cover the Redd Up and the plastics issue in the isles.
She had taken them out to Burwick Beach where the Scalloway school pupils regularly undertakes a redd up.
The meeting also heard environmental group The Big Blue Ocean Clean Up were preparing to visit the isles at the end of May.