Jamie and Susan tackle rising tide of litter

Jamie Joyce and Susan Marshall with Duncan MacEachen's boat in the background.

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Argyll’s new marine litter officers are looking for help to clear beaches from north of Appin to Craobh Haven.

Former youth worker Jamie Joyce, from Oban, has teamed up with former Kerrera ferrywoman and tea garden owner Susan Marshall to keep the coastline clean.

They started their new jobs last week and have already got help on board – but they need more.

Their jobs, funded by the Scottish Government through Marine Scotland, were created as an extension of the SCRAPbook (Scottish Coastal Rubbish Aerial Photography) project using images taken by volunteer pilots to map litter hotspots.

Their mission now is to use the photos to get the community involved in removing as much of the litter as possible.

Jamie and Susan, who are based at the old harbour office on Oban’s North Pier, will be going out with Oban-based Basking Shark Scotland and its volunteers next month on an extreme clean-up.

And Kerrera’s Duncan MacEachen from Sea Solutions has offered them the use of his drop-sides boat to help trawl off any awkward or heavy debris from hard-to-reach spots.

‘We are really keen to hear from more people like Duncan, other boat owners or businesses who have equipment and resources that would be helpful,’ said Jamie.

The pair have sifted through 450 aerial photos to find the worst affected litter spots along a 42-mile stretch.

‘We lost about three quarters of them straight away because they are easily accessible areas that the public can get to. We want to tackle the most remote spots,’ said Susan.

Part of the plan is to call for volunteers as particular litter-blighted areas are about to be tackled.

‘It could be a fencing team, a rugby team or someone who has a business with the expertise or equipment needed to get to a certain area,’ said Susan.

Jamie and Susan hope schools and other community groups will also make use of the SCRAPbook map to do clear-ups along the coast and that they will take before and after photos emailing them to cleanup@scrapbook.org.uk so a record can be kept.

‘There’s already a lot of Oban groups doing clean-ups. We don’t want to duplicate that although we’d like to hear about the difference they are making and keep photographic evidence. We are here to manage the larger, more inaccessible litter,’ said Jamie.

To see the litter hot spot map go to scrapbook.org.uk/map/