Primary pupils tackle Kintyre’s marine litter with GRAB Trust’s Kerry

Some of the litter discovered during a Clachan beach clean.
Some of the litter discovered during a Clachan beach clean.

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The GRAB Trust’s new beaches and marine litter project education manager for Mid Argyll and Kintyre has joined forces with the area’s primary pupils to tackle rubbish.

Kerry MacKay, who joined the ranks of the recycling organisation towards the end of last year, has been out and about interacting with pupils from schools across Kintyre.

In the latest issue of the GRAB Trust’s quarterly bulletin, Flotsam and Jetsam, Kerry reveals what she got up to at three of those schools.

Kerry wrote: ‘My first school visit was to lovely Carradale Primary with the beautiful Carradale Bay right on their doorstep. We were lucky to have a beautiful day for a beach clean, which included an MCS survey of the beach, with the children in small groups collecting litter with an adult recording the finds on the MCS form. Our combined efforts collected a total of 2.25kg of litter.

‘Back at the school we settled into the warmth for an exciting story workshop followed by the pupils drawing illustrations for the story. They drew some wonderful illustrations and now have their very own copy of the story.

‘As a keen scuba diver, I love sharing all sorts of stories about my adventures, so when they asked about the underwater world they were fascinated that I was a diver and the stories I had of my adventures underwater; much like our story’s main character Iona’s adventures.’

Of her visit to Clachan Primary School, Kerry continued: ‘Getting into the festive spirit, Clachan Primary joined me for a Waste-Free Christmas workshop.

‘We discussed lots of ideas and tips to reduce your waste over the festive season, from gifting vouchers rather than ‘things’, to using last year’s Christmas cards as this year’s gift tags, and alternative tree ideas.

‘Everyone was really engaged and I was pleased to find they had already put a lot of thought into how they could be less wasteful at Christmas.

‘We then upcycled household ‘junk’ and natural materials like twigs and pine cones into some fantastic Christmas decorations. While crafting we discussed pitfalls like glitter and how buying materials just to make things can be wasteful when there is so much that can be used already in the house and garden.’

Kerry’s final Kintyre school visit was to Southend Primary School. She said: ‘Southend Primary invited me on a short trip in the minibus to the beautiful Dunaverty Bay. We did an MCS survey and general clean of the beach, collecting 1kg of litter. A quick Limpets game finished off our session at the beach with lots of hilarity.

‘Back at the school we did the Reduce Your Waste workshop, discussing simple swaps, the problem with packaging and the three Rs. This included the Recycling Relay game where in teams the pupils take turns to use the litter pickers to grab a card from the middle. When all the cards are gone they match the cards into pairs of products and their more eco alternatives; a great game to run around while getting some great ideas of easy swaps.

‘I’m very pleased to hear that Southend Primary plans to adopt Dunaverty Bay and look forward to helping and joining in many future beach cleans.’

Kerry added: ‘It has been a pleasure visiting each and every school, and I hope you have all enjoyed the workshops as much as I have!’