The Great Big Firth Beach Clean
Every September the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) organises a Great Big British Beach Clean; encouraging people across the country to clean a beach over one weekend. After discovering that most local schools were involved in a litter pick at least once a year, the Port approached them about combining this national campaign with a local initiative in 2016 and all litter picking around the Cromarty Firth on the same day. Children litter picking in Cromarty and Invergordon would know that children just like them were cleaning beaches in Resolis and Milton. They would learn the benefits of working together and the difference that can be made by a few people taking action.
Of the fifteen primary and secondary schools around the Firth six have typically taken part in the Great Big Firth Beach Clean every year. The schools provide pupils and the Port provides litter pickers, bin bags etc. and disposes of the litter collected. Members of staff volunteer and join a school; talking to the children about the Firth and the dangers of marine litter.
In 2018 the Firth became the pilot area for Moray Firth Partnership’s SCRAPbook project, which provided aerial photographs of the Firth’s beaches and identified the areas that most needed cleaning. A local secondary school selected a beach based on these photos. Their pupils will be able to see before and after shots of their clean in Spring when the pilots take their next photographs.
Pupils and staff all enjoy this annual event. Different generations work together towards the same goal and it teaches our children about the importance of managing our waste. It also provides an instant sense of achievement, as the pupils can see the difference they have made in just a short time.
Photograph : South Logie Primary School Pupils