Mighty mission to restore Innean bay’s beauty

Plastic litter at Innean's Bay.

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By Joan Crooks

The remote Innean’s Bay, situated between Machrihanish and the Mull of Kintyre is only accessible by a five-mile walk or by boat.

Although getting there is a challenge, it is a popular hiking spot and kayak stopping place.

Karen Murphy, from Carradale, has made it her mission to restore this local beauty spot to its deserved former glory, organising what, Beaches and Marine Litter Project Officer, Andrea McShannon, described as: ‘Possibly the first large-scale Innean’s Bay clean-up of more than 40 years of plastics washed in from the Atlantic Ocean.

Karen said: ‘Last year a new headstone was installed for the Sailor’s Grave there and I want to clear the bay and surrounding area of rubbish, as it accumulates marine litter as only the wild west coast can.’

The litter consists mainly of rope, crates and creel hooks from fishing with some large shipping items, pipe, shotgun cartridges and many smaller unidentifiable pieces of plastic as well as cotton buds, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, paintbrushes and a toy diver!

July 18 was the second beach clean visit this summer for Karen, supported by Mrs McShannon and there is likely to be a third to complete the clean.

The RNLI Campbeltown lifeboat station has kindly agreed to remove the collected litter by sea and fundraising is ongoing to support this operation.

Karen wrote on Facebook, ‘It was an amazing second trip to beach clean at Innean’s Bay with Danni Goldsack, Andrea McShannon and the fantastic Isla!’

Karen explained: ‘We have cleared so much and now have more than 32 bags plus larger stuff. Not that we’re perfectionists, but there is another trip on the horizon.’

She continued: ‘The RNLI have agreed to uplift the bags by sea and I thought people who are unable to hike and beach clean would like to sponsor us by donating to the RNLI and supporting all they do to prevent tragedy at sea.’

Donations can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/karen-murphy31.

As there is still work to be done Karen issued a plea to those fit enough to help with the clean up: ‘Please come and help make it worthwhile for the RNLI to pick up. It’s one heck of a hike!’

The 32 bags of rubbish. NO_c30innean’sbay05 All photos by Karen Murphy.

Plastics besmirch the sea shore. NO_c30innean’sbay04

Inneans Bay. NO_c30innean’sbay06

Plastic gizmos thought to be from the Machrihanish wrasse hatchery. NO_c30innean’sbay01

‘The fantastic Isla’ holds a plastic diver found on the beach. NO_c30innean’sbay02

The sign to Innean’s Bay off the Kintyre Way. NO_c30innean’sbay03