Organised by Ayrshire Rotary Clubs

It’s “No Joke!” – the amount of winter-storm litter on our beaches again this year, which is why – on Saturday, April 1st – the Rotary Clubs of Girvan, Alloway, Ayr, Prestwick, and Troon are once again holding their very popular Annual Spring Clean – in conjunction with South Ayrshire Council, who uplift all the litter we collect.

This year we are helping with the Marine Conservation Society’s “Wild Bottle Sighting” nationwide survey. So instead of an April First “Hunt the Gowk” we will be doing “Hunt the Plastic Bottle” – over the nineteen miles of beaches to be cleaned between Girvan and Troon!

Plastic bottles are the scourge of our beaches and probably make up about 60-70% of all our beach clean rubbish. Some governments abroad now have a return bottle charge on all plastic bottles – with great success – and pressure is mounting for our own UK and Scottish governments to do likewise.

The Marine Conservation Society are delighted to have input from such a massive Beach Clean, and have asked our helpers to tot up a bottle count for each beach, and send in as many photos of bottles on the beach as possible – piles of them! This is our personal chance to do something about it – and we would invite as many people as possible to join us in this massive environmental clean-up.

Since the Beach Cleans started, our combined efforts have made a huge difference, with a massive reduction of 40% in the litter found on Ayrshire beaches over the past ten years. On our regular beaches there has been a great reduction in litter. In 2016 around our volunteers collected 624 bags. With fewer storms this winter, we’ll hope for less in 2017. Over 10 years we’ve collected 7400 bags.

Around 250 volunteers turned out last year. Each year we have had great support from Scouts and Cubs, youth clubs, schools, college students, OIR, walking groups, friends and neighbours. We now have a large number of “regulars” who turn up every year, and also a generous group of farmers and caravan park owners who kindly volunteer to cart bags of rubbish from remote beaches to pick-up points for collection by the Council.

We welcome anyone interested in a few hours of fun, gentle fresh-air exercise – and a lot of satisfaction – cleaning up our lovely coastline along the route of the Ayrshire Coastal Path. Please come along and join us at 9 am on Saturday 1st April (0900-1200), equipped with gardening gloves (or Marigolds!) warm clothing and stout footwear. South Ayrshire Council can supply a limited number of litter tongs – and an unlimited supply of black bin bags.

The beaches include Girvan, Dipple, Turnberry, north Croy Bay, Dunure to Heads of Ayr, Heads of Ayr to River Doon, River Doon to Blackburn Car Park, Newton to Bentfield Point, Bentfield Point to Pow Burn, and Pow Burn to Barassie.

We would be delighted if some folk with cars – and a spirit of adventure – could volunteer to help the groups cleaning Dunure, Croy, or Dipple beaches – where they can visit and enjoy some interesting parts of the Coastal Path route.

All persons wishing to assist should report to their nearest Assembly Point.

The Assembly Points are:

Troon Rotary; assembling at the toilets on North Beach at 9.00am

Prestwick Rotary; assembling at the old Swimming Pool at 9.00am

Ayr Rotary; assembling at Blackburn Car Park at 9.00am

Alloway Rotary; assembling at Beach Car Park at Longhill Point at 9.00am

Girvan Rotary; assembling at Ainsley Car Park at 10.00am