Gruellie Belkies Saving Sanday's Shores

PU3P and Anne Bignall from the RSPB's Enjoy Wild Orkney project, visited Sanday Community Centre and then Sanday School to give a talk and slideshow along with the Sanday Ranger, Rod Thorne. A good turnout for our evening talk gave us an indication of just how concerned and active the community are about looking after their amazing beaches. Anne showed us some of her vivid photos of the habitats and creatures she sees underwater convincing everyone that the thriving underwater ecosystems around our shores need to be protected just as much as the creatures we see above the water.
 

Rod shared some memorable images of beach finds and strandings as well as some unfortunate victims of entanglement which have been found on the shore.

 
We finished off with a look at the typical sort of litter which ends up on our shores and why it is worth removing it even if you can only pick up three pieces of it.
 
Next morning at the school we spoke again at assembly, and then to the Eco Group who had some good questions to ask about where the litter came from and ideas about how it might have got into the ocean
 

 Finally we spoke to the John Muir Award group who have already cleaned one beach and plan to visit one a week through the duration of their project. As well as recording and reporting ray and shark cases and dead birds, they are bagging and removing large amounts of litter at each location. This is a great time of year to do this, particularly this winter, after the consistent and violent winter storms which have dislodged and thrown up masses of litter previously in the water column and on the sea bed. We look forward to a guest post from the group later to hear how their inspiring example of outstanding active environmental responsibility has progressed.

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