MSP spearheads litter clear-up effort

Mairi Gougeon with Therese Alampo and reserve assistant Simon Ritchie
Mairi Gougeon with Therese Alampo and reserve assistant Simon Ritchie

Angus North and Mearns MSP Mairi Gougeon has launched an initiative to encourage people in the North-east to battle the effects of marine litter on wildlife.

Part of an international campaign, Take 3 For the Sea, the scheme will operate on two Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) national nature reserves in the area, St Cyrus and Forvie.

The campaign encourages people to remove three small pieces of rubbish from the beach every time they visit.

They then can place litter in the bins at the reserve car parks, or take plastics and other recyclables to dispose of at home.

Ms Gougeon is keen to get everyone involved.

She said: “Forvie and St Cyrus both have wonderful beaches, which many people enjoy and which support all kinds of wildlife. Marine plastic poses a dangerous threat to these birds and animals.

“That’s why I’m so enthusiastic about this grassroots campaign to get us all involved in keeping our marine wildlife safe.

“And, of course, you don’t have to stop at three. Every item you pick up will make a big difference.”

Therese Alampo, SNH’s St Cyrus reserve manager said the campaign can have an impact.

She said: “St Cyrus and Forvie are two stunning areas, and it’s a real shame whenever the view is spoiled by litter washing ashore – and worse still is the effect rubbish has on marine wildlife.

“The community takes pride in our litter-free beach and we want this to continue, and this is an easy and effective way for each person to make a real difference.”

The East Grampian Coastal Partnership’s beach litter initiative, Turning the Plastic Tide, is also planning to include up to four additional litter picking stations along the North-east coast, encouraging both local people and visitors to Take 3 For The Sea.