Community adds sparkle to spring clean

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Council worker Stuart Eddleston was clearing the moss from the paved area opposite Cafe Harris.
West Highland Housing Association pulled out all the stops down Lochavullin Road.
From left, Ross Preston (Footprint Alba), SAMS student Solene Giraudeau and Terry Donovan from the GRAB Trust manned the gazebo in Station Square on Saturday.
Members of Oban Seals cleaned up the beach at Ganavan.
Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from Benderloch were part of a group of 40 people cleaning up from Letterwalton to Connel Bridge.
Keep Oban Beautiful’s Maurice Wilkins, centre, coordinated the clean up of the Black Lynn.
The Rotary team of, from left, Walter Burton, Dave Waltho, Peter Tosh, president Iain MacIntyre, Graham Fraser, Alan Hoar, Dave Mudie and Roger Parry, took responsibility for the Corran Halls and surrounding area on Sunday.
SAMS volunteers took up the initiative on Friday.

Oban and the surrounding villages are now well and truly sparkling thanks to a mammoth effort from spring cleaners last weekend.

Community groups, organisations, businesses and individuals turned out in their hordes to do their bit for the big Oban Spring Clean 2019.

Coordinator Claire Rizos, from Keep Oban Beautiful, reported  that at least 33 separate groups were out working with a group being anything from one to 30 individuals.

Approximately 145 people took part, an increase from the estimated 100 last year and around 220 bags of rubbish were collected.

Some of the larger discarded items found included a lawn mower, mattress, at least seven traffic cones, three tyres, a wheelie bin from the river, a radiator and a bicycle.

Bag numbers are lower than the estimated 300 last year, but coverage was greater overall with numbers up in Kilmore, a big effort in Benderloch, and a group from Dunstaffnage businesses, including SAMS, all joining in.

This year, some groups gave extra attention to pavements and roadsides by clearing them of debris and cutting back undergrowth – special mention going to Kilmore residents and the West Highland Housing Association (Lochavullin Road) and Rotarians (Corran Halls).

On the organising side, BID4Oban provided extra help with publicity, paying for advertising and design, while CGL printed and laminated the poster and banner for the gazebo free of charge.

Terry Donovan helped by loaning equipment from GRAB, running educational events in the week and also setting up a gazebo in Station Square with marine litter information for the public on Saturday.

Janie Steel from Footprint Alba led the drop-in beach cleans and ran some events in the week, including with Scouts.

Maurice Wilkins from Keep Oban Beautiful (KOB) led some drop-in Black Lynn sessions and Andy, from Argyll and Bute Council’s amenity team, supported the event by collecting the bags before they got in the way.

The council also provided four extra staff over the weekend  and the
Rockfield Centre gave essential accommodation for the equipment and coordination hub.

Mr Wilkins said: ‘Many thanks to Claire for organising the whole event – it wouldn’t have happened without her.

‘And, of course, a huge thank you from KOB to all the people who took part in this our second Oban Spring Clean – we’re very proud of you.’

Cafes joined in this year by offering free drinks to the volunteers – KOB would like to thank  Costa, the Bridge Café, Julie’s, Roxy’s and Taste of Argyll for providing this service.