Junk busters clean-up woodland

Young tidy volunteers Hazel and Blue Brooks with just some of the rusty haul from Dunollie Woods, Oban.

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A four cylinder engine, a big mattress, a car chassis, office chairs and bikes are just some of the junk cleared from Dunollie Woods by clean-up volunteers.

Laura Corbe, Maggie Clayton and Daniel Brooks were among a tidy-it team who recently set to work restoring the Oban woodland to its greener space.

Junk dumped in the wood waiting to be cleared.

Some of the bigger items have probably been there years, said Laura who lives nearby.

Efforts have been made before to clean up the wood and it has remained clean, but there was still a section by the burns that needed clearing – in particular the lower part.

Sticking to social distancing rules, keep-it-tidy volunteers dug in and started pulling junk out.

‘Before we knew it, we were covered in mud and had a ton of junk from office chairs to bikes, a car chassis, a four-cylinder engine, a big sodden mattress. I think we’ll need a crow bar and more strapping-strong folk to get stuff out at some later stage,’ added Laura, who supports Keep Oban Beautiful.

She said The Woodland Trust is working hard to care for the woods that are ‘so beautiful’.

‘The trust was going to get a contractor in to remove the junk but there’s so much more other good work for contractors to do there. In times of coronavirus, it just felt really good to do something like this and give back to our community and the natural world.

‘We are so lucky in Oban to have this amazing asset and to have the joy of these woods that are home to so many wild species, including wood warblers. It’s such a beautiful habitat and it deserves to be kept pristine and junk free,’ added Laura.

This week Laura returned to tidy more of the area by the burn, finding more old rubbish to clear and about 100 dumped bags of dog poo.

‘There’s lots more to come out and unfortunately it’s from an even more awkward location but hopefully the last efforts will be the most rewarding,’ she said.