Stonehaven Beach clean planned

The water at Stonehaven beach was found to contain too much bacteria.
The water at Stonehaven beach was found to contain too much bacteria.

A clean-up with a difference will be taking place on Sunday, September 18, at Stonehaven beach.

Organised by Aberdeenshire Council, the clean up will take place in conjunction with ‘Beachwatch Big Weekend’ which is an international event which takes place on the third weekend of September every year, last year volunteers from 108 countries targeted a stretch of their local beach and recorded all the litter collected.

The recorded information is then fed back to the Marine Conservation Society and once analysed the results can help to target polluters at the source. The information can also be used to influence government policy on waste and the protection of the coastal and larger marine environment.

Apart from the unsightliness of beach litter and the varying degrees of health risks some items can pose to us, much of it also threatens marine wildlife.

Stonehaven’s beach-clean will start at 10am, volunteers are to meet at the pavilion on the seafront, next to Molly Gunning’s, where they will be briefed and given appropriate equipment.

Light refreshments will be available throughout the event. Volunteers can register beforehand to receive more detailed instructions. Children under 18 years of age need to be accompanied by an adult who must fill in a registration form on their behalf.

To register phone 01569 768292 or email kincardineandmearns.ranger@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Stonehaven beach currently holds a seasode award, part of the criteria for this is cleanliness. However there have been some issue with the water with it being announced this week that Stonehaven beach failed the Scottish environmental protection agency’s water quality tests.

The agency test beaches throughout the summer season and Stonehaven’s bathing water has failed after it was found to contain too much bacteria. This bacteria was not linked to litter on the beach.

A report by SEPA states: “Stonehaven experienced rainfall during the preceding 24 hours (the test). Investigations found no record of spills or problems on the sewerage network.

“There were high counts of bacteria in the River Carron indicating the problem was mainly riverine although investigation of the catchment found no issues.”

Stonehaven’s bathing waters has failed quality tests three times in the past in 2005, 1999 and 1998.

Polluted water can cause problems for swimmers including skin, ear, throat and stomach infections.

A SEPA spokesman said: “Most of the problems have been due to urban and agricultural diffuse pollution, caused by rainfall.

“As in previous years, wet weather has been a significant factor affecting the quality of bathing waters at some locations later in the season.”

The water quality at the beach has improved in recent tests but it will still be marked as a fail for the year.