Anchor and toilet seat among four tonnes of rubbish removed in third clean of Peterhead beach

A toilet seat and an anchor were among the 4.38 tonnes of rubbish removed by volunteers from a waste-plagued Peterhead beach.

For the third time in the space of a year, the pickers descended upon Sandford Bay in the Blue Toon to carry out a major clean-up.

Pick Up Peterhead first scoured the beach for refuse in July last year, before returning as part of East Grampian Coastal Partnership’s Turning the Plastic Tide project.

On that occasion the group used a tractor, trailer and quad bike to help them remove 2.5 tonnes from the area.

Now volunteers have returned once more to take on the challenge of Sandford Bay, spending two-and-a-half hours clearing the beach.

Toilet seat found during the beach clean. Pictures: East Grampian Coastal Partnership

The partnership led the latest effort with help from Aberdeenshire Council, whose teams had been inspired by the previous clean-up efforts.

Beach litter officer Crawford Paris said he’d been delighted to so members of the Peterhead community come together.

He said: “Including the members of the Aberdeenshire Council landscape services team who kindly provided the machinery for the day, 45 volunteers came along.

“There were a number of families with children taking part, which made for a really nice atmosphere.

“The volunteers worked tirelessly for two-and-a-half hours, collecting smaller items which were decanted into larger sacks and then ferried up to the skip using the quad.

“The landscape services team, meanwhile, took the tractor to where a number large submerged nets (ghost nets) were and began hauling them out.

Just some of the little picked up during the clean. Picture: East Grampian Coastal Partnership

“I was shocked to see the size of what they were unearthing. These were colossal tangles of rope and netting up to 30 feet long and weighing at least a tonne each.

“It took an hour to dig out the largest of these.

“It had an anchor attached – something we actually didn’t notice right away.

“When we did, we finally understood why it had been so tough to remove.”

Including the large lumps of netting hauled from the ground, the volunteers managed to remove 4.38 tonnes of rubbish from the site.

It is the second time in a month the group has removed more than four tonnes of marine litter from a single beach.

– Meeting at Score Delivery car park for 11.00am- Sign in after safety briefing before beginning beach clean – Access…

Posted by East Grampian Coastal Partnership – Turning the Plastic Tide on Friday, 24 May 2019

In April, they were helped by staff from Premier Oil as 4.14 tonnes were removed from the coast at Cairnbulg.

Mr Crawford added: “Over the last month we have helped to remove around 12 tonnes of marine litter from beaches in the north-east.

“The effort from everyone involved has been inspiring. It has been great to see so many kids coming out with their parents, working just as hard, with heaps of enthusiasm.”

Video credit: East Grampian Coastal Partnership