Beachcombing of a different kind

Orkney has miles and miles of coastline and beaches which after the winter need a right good clean up.  Enter ‘bag the bruck’ month or translated for non Orcadians ‘pick up the rubbish!’

My local beach is Skaill which is situated next to Skara Brae a 5000 year old village which is still in perfect condition. Skip forward to today and the coast remains as dramatic and beautiful, but hundreds of years of modern living means the sea washes up mountains of rubbish all over the coastline.  In April people all over Orkney gather together to pick up what has been brought in by the sea.

It was pretty cold out there today but with the right clothing a couple of hours is perfectly doable and something I find quite therapeutic. Strangely I enjoy going along for an afternoon and picking up  rubbish and there’s quite a community feel.  I always live in hope that  one day I will find that special treasure washed up.  The message in a bottle maybe or some other interesting find.  Sadly it usually ends up being bags and bags of old rope or plastic bottles.  I’m quite happy to pick it up along with the others but it makes me sad to see how much is washed up.  I feel strongly about how much garbage is in the sea and I have a bit of a hatred for plastic. Plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic tubs and those little beads that end up in washing/cleaning products which end up in the sea which ends up in the fish which ends up in us. Think about it…..

After two hours of picking up with maybe 40 people and about a mile of beach, our little stretch of coastline was all clean again.  Ready for the next time……

Highlight of the afternoon has to be a picnic in the back of a sheep trailer and avoiding the quicksand.  Lovely!




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