Plastic debris is regularly washed up onto the shoreline of Mull and Iona. Mull Otter Group regularly carry out beach cleans, and this is vital work to protect our wildlife, and to create a pleasant environment for us humans.
Work is also carried out by rangers, schools, charitable groups like ours, and individuals, but unfortunately a great deal of Mull’s 300 mile coast line will remain litter strewn as for the most part, the efforts currently made can only extend as far as the more popular stretches of shore line.
Mull Adopt-a-beach is a scheme which seeks to build on the work currently carried out, and encourage more extensive beach cleaning across the island. Do you want to join in?
Read the latest Mull Adopt-a-Beach Bulletin here
Marine Conservation Society. We also seek to encourage participation in the Marine Conservation Society’s data gathering programmes (Beach Watch, Great British Beach Clean). This is important work which has already provided evidence which led to the 5p carrier bag charge, and the resulting 80% drop in carrier bag use. It could also lead to an introduction of a deposit return system for plastic bottles. Data on litter from a particular source can be used to directly lobby the company concerned, or relevant regulatory authority for change.
Tell us what you already do. Do you already carry out beach cleans? Great! Carry on the good work and just let us know which stretches of shore line you look after. Do let us know if you need any more help.
Adopt a beach! Look after a small stretch of shore in your local area just once or twice a year. You can do this on your own or organise your own beach cleans. We would love to allocate new beach watchers to currently uncared for shoreline.
Tell us about beach litter. Can you let us know where the marine litter hotspots are? Perhaps you know an area that needs cleared but you can’t tackle it on your own. We can help organise beach cleans. It maybe in an out of the way spot, but even if very few people see the litter it is still important that it is removed.
Survey your litter. If you can, include a 100m survey stretch in your beach clean and submit the data to the Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch at any time of year. Or survey your beach to coincide with the Great British Beach Clean, and submit the data then. We can provide help or are willing to do the boring computer work for you if you like!
Or join in our beach clean as part of the Great British Beach Clean. It takes place over the course of a weekend every mid-September.
Raise Money! Perhaps you are part of a charitable group or organisation. Did you know that the GRAB Trust can provide payments to groups who carry out beach cleans?
Take a bag with you. Even if you can’t get involved in beach cleans, consider taking a bag with you on your walks or drives around Mull and if you see some litter take it home with you – every little helps.
The green dots on this map represent places where we know organised beach cleans regularly take place, or where individuals have kindly committed to looking after a stretch of coast. As you can see there is plenty of coastline that needs to be adopted. Can you devote a little bit of your time, once or twice a year, to cleaning our coast?
Beach Cleaning Guidelines
Be safe out there! Here are our beach cleaning guidelines:
- Consider the health and safety of those involved. Check tide times and weather. Wear sturdy boots, and take special care when clambering over rocks and slippery seaweed. Take care with sharp objects, anything which may contain hazardous chemicals, and lifting heavy objects. If you are in a remote location, tell someone where you are going.
- Let the landowner know what you are doing, and check that they do not have any objections
- In the late spring and early summer, be aware of ground nesting birds. You could easily disturb them or even stand on some well camouflaged eggs! We advise to carry out beach cleans at other times of the year.
- How to dispose of the rubbish. If there are several bags of rubbish you probably need to make special arrangements with the landowner or the council, for collection from an agreed pick up point.
- Also be aware not to disturb roosting seabirds and waders (because they use up valuable energy resources), particularly in bad weather and particularly at high tide when they may not have anywhere else safe to roost.
- Check out our Ranger Service and organisations like the Marine Conservation Society for more advice.